Friday 30 September 2016

Future iPhones could have 'panic mode' button

Emma Clark

Published 06/11/2015 | 08:21

Apple
Apple

An Apple patent has been published that details a 'panic mode' for iPhones that could be used to secure your data or contact emergency services.

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Future iPhones could get a whole lot more secure thanks to an Apple patent detailing a 'panic mode' that you can trigger by putting a specific finger on the Touch ID button.

Panic mode is designed for use when the owner feels threatened, in danger, or is being forced to unlock their phone. It puts the phone into a locked down mode, which blocks access to personal data store on the phone.

The patent application goes beyond threat of robbery though. It also details a scenario in which panic mode can activate the iPhone’s camera and microphone, transmitting video and audio to emergency response providers. They can then decide on the correct course of action, whether that's to contact friends or family or to seek help from emergency services.

Another example outlines a hiker who falls and then activates a panic mode that calls the emergency services with GPS reporting their location.

The patent even details an option of having different panic modes depending on which finger is placed on the sensor. Let's hope you remember which digit is for which mode if the unthinkable happens.

It's worth bearing in mind that this is just a patent, so there's no guarantee that we'll see it utilised in phones any time soon, if at all. But it's an intriguing idea that adds some security to the iPhone.

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