Apple files patent detailing technology to help locate an iPhone lost in the car

Apple has been said to be working on its own car for years now. It was previously reported that the car project referred to as ‘Project Titan’ internally was shut due to no progress being made. However, it was reported by the noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF-International Securities that the project was once again back on track.

Now, a new patent filed by Apple further fuels the rumours of an upcoming car by the company. The patent is titled “Systems and methods for locating mobile devices within a vehicle,” and it details methods that can be used to find an iPhone lost somewhere in the car.

It is known that an average car driver is likely to drop their phone in the car at some point or another. Most car drivers have their phone slip out of their pockets when driving as the phone will be slanting downwards when a driver is sitting. 

Using technologies such as Ultra Wideband (UWB) does not make sense in this case as it will require an iPhone to find an iPhone. Also, locating iPhones using Find My does not use UWB at the moment and it is not very accurate, it can only locate an iPhone precise to few feet. 

A method includes receiving, by sensors inside an enclosure of a vehicle, signals generated by signal generators in the enclosure of the vehicle. One of the sensors or signal generators may be part of a mobile device inside the enclosure. The method also includes determining a location and orientation of the mobile device from the signals. The method further includes determining, based on the location and orientation of the mobile device, an object in the enclosure that the mobile device is pointing to. The mobile device further includes transmitting a message to the mobile device in response to determining that the mobile device is pointing to the object, so as to cause the mobile device to display a user interface to allow the mobile device to control the object.

The patent filed by Apple

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