Apple looking to identify iOS users via heartbeat, more

By on August 20, 2010, 4:52 PM
Apple has applied for a patent on a method to differentiate between users of an iOS device. Titled "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unathorized Users of an Electronic Device," the patent describes various ways a device could recognize users, including voice print and heartbeat analysis, facial recognition, and even some form of detection system for "suspicious behavior" (read: jailbreaking, unlocking, hacking, or removing a SIM card).

Such a feature would have many practical applications, not least in security. For instance, an iPhone could lock itself if it detected an unauthorized user and notify the owner by calling or sending an email, not to mention the ability to provide GPS coordinates. It might also be handy on shared devices, like iPads, which are commonly used by more than one person. Different settings and profiles could be applied on the fly for each person.


On the less innocent side of things, Apple is generally recognized as a control freak and you have to wonder whether such a mechanism would be used against jailbreakers. The US Library of Congress recently updated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with various exemptions, including a few lines that effectively legalize jailbreaking and unlocking cell phones. Apple responded by reminding users that jailbreaking an iPhone voids its warranty.




User Comments: 23

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Its official, jobs is taking over the world.

princeton princeton said:

supersmashbrada said:

Its official, jobs is taking over the world.

I think his first target will be to take over Redmond and take over Microsoft related buildings to be the capital of his new kingdom.

First Redmond, Then..THE WORLD!

/cliche

Leeky Leeky said:

I hope he's left to get on with it, and is successful.

The thought of mobile phones (and other ultraportables) being able to use these sorts of security systems will render them pointless to steal. From a safety point of view that can only be a good thing!

Guest said:

How is "voiding" the warranty going to deter jailbreaking once the warranty expires?

Guest said:

I don't understand why they would want to prevent jailbreaking. If someone doesn't buy an Apple product because they can't hack it then that's a sale lost. I guess the only logical conclusion is that there is more money to be made in post-hardware-purchase sales of software related items.

can't hate too much though, this new 13" macbook pro i'm typing on is everything i've ever wanted in a laptop!

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope he's left to get on with it, and is successful.

The thought of mobile phones (and other ultraportables) being able to use these sorts of security systems will render them pointless to steal. From a safety point of view that can only be a good thing!

Well what if he decides to keep record of this data through some ways (definitely possible) and sell it to interesting parties without your knowledge?

As Mathew pointed out at 'Apple's Control Freak' mentality, which I believe is something to keep an eye on.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Why doesn't anybody seem to stop buying s*** from these ******?

The more psychotic Jobs becomes, the more they buy into it.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why doesn't anybody seem to stop buying s*** from these ******?

The more psychotic Jobs becomes, the more they buy into it.

That is because of the 'herd' mentality of people IMO, as they think 'it looks cool' so they should buy it, without getting into in the details.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The whole argument behind something like your phone checking your ID, and the rationale behind it, is very similar to the story they give you when they want you to take a polygraph test. "It's good for the good people, and bad for the bad people". That's all well and good I suppose, but when you're done, even if you're one of the "good guys", you still feel pretty God damned violated.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I couldn't disagree with any of what you said, but the problem is ........ its like playing bagpipes in front of a creature, which releases more greenhouse gases than many of the road cars now, all you gonna get is what comes out of its back, if you know what I mean

Leeky Leeky said:

Well what if he decides to keep record of this data through some ways (definitely possible) and sell it to interesting parties without your knowledge?

As Mathew pointed out at 'Apple's Control Freak' mentality, which I believe is something to keep an eye on.

Well that would make them no different to google, which everyone doesn't seem to be bothered about. (the company in general anyway).

I'm looking at it from a security perspective. Your argument could be true of absolutely any company that brings the technology to the forefront of the consumer market.

People really like to bash Apple on here; I really don't understand why tbh, half of whats said is rubbish, and the other half is over-exagerated!

Without major players prepared to push the boundaries of science and technology we wouldn't get the evolution in technology that we have today.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well that would make them no different to google, which everyone doesn't seem to be bothered about. (the company in general anyway).

I am very much concerned about it, that is why I rarely use it.

Your argument could be true of absolutely any company that brings the technology to the forefront of the consumer market.

Every corporation whether its MS or Apple or others, are driven by one single objective, i.e. to make money at every cost, I'm sorry but that is the reality we live in.

People really like to bash Apple on here; I really don't understand why tbh, half of whats said is rubbish, and the other half is over-exagerated!

Is it? I don't know of any other company which would try to 'control' the devices/products they sell in such a intrusive way except Apple. Once, a consumer buy something it effectively becomes his or her property. Hence, it is none of Apple's business what users can do or can't do with that device.

Without major players prepared to push the boundaries of science and technology we wouldn't get the evolution in technology that we have today.

To some extent I would agree, but I'm afraid my first argument need be reminded again, everything is drive by profit, so if they could get away with not having to do much with regard to innovation they will do it, very recent example can be nVidia, look how they fooled the masses by simply re-branding their older generation product over and over and over again and sold it to masses. You need to understand that the capitalist world we live in, is not driven by desire to make improvements for the sake of good of the people, it thrives and lives on only one thing i.e. make money at the cost of others come what may. So, Apple is no different in this regard, the only thing they do good is sell their ideas more effectively without giving the impression that infact they are only intending to 'lend' whatever they are selling to you for use (at least that is my impression from how they try to stop every attempt of jailbreak about their products).

Leeky Leeky said:

Is it? I don't know of any other company which would try to 'control' the devices/products they sell in such a intrusive way except Apple. Once, a consumer buy something it effectively becomes his or her property. Hence, it is none of Apple's business what users can do or can't do with that device.

That can be seen as negative, or a positive, dependant on how you wish to view the situation.

Its Apple's very same strict proprietry hardware that's enabled it to work so successfully. Windows 7 has changed that somewhat, but nobody can deny it works well for Apple, and certainly makes using their devices much easier.

Jailbraking can be viewed from two fronts; Why should Apple honour warranties (for example) on devices that have had the software completely changed? Its quite common in any marketplace to prevent warranty claims to those that mess with, or change the specification of anything under warranty. I don't see how Apple should be any different, nor be treated any different. If you hacked your BIOS, I doubt the motherboard manufacturer would allow you to claim under warranty!

To some extent I would agree, but I'm afraid my first argument need be reminded again, everything is drive by profit, so if they could get away with not having to do much with regard to innovation they will do it, very recent example can be nVidia, look how they fooled the masses by simply re-branding their older generation product over and over and over again and sold it to masses. You need to understand that the capitalist world we live in, is not driven by desire to make improvements for the sake of good of the people, it thrives and lives on only one thing i.e. make money at the cost of others come what may. So, Apple is no different in this regard, the only thing they do good is sell their ideas more effectively without giving the impression that infact they are only intending to 'lend' whatever they are selling to you for use (at least that is my impression from how they try to stop every attempt of jailbreak about their products).

I do understand the world we live in. Apple need to make money to survive, and everything they do is driven by that.

I totally disagree that they lend you products. Under warranty you have to abide by many rules. I don't see the issue with it, its just another reason to knock Apple for doing something most manufacturers would do any way.

I do get what your saying though, and I'm not in the slightest bit blind to it all.

satty said:

whoa... this does not seem to me as the best way to lock my PC...!!!!

It wont startup when I am sick,sleepy etc(I think heartbeat rates change when you are not healthy)

It will make me "sicker"....!!!!!!!!!!!

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

if you google 'network heartbeat' you will see that the heartbeat concept is not new, unique to Apple, and has been used in intra-networking solutions for various purposes

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

oops, double post

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its Apple's very same strict proprietry hardware that's enabled it to work so successfully.

I must admit I haven't used a Mac in a long time now, but it wasn't the case in days when I did, it would break down for no reason once every few weeks I remember. Perhaps today, there is slight truth in it, but one single aspect which works well for Apple is not the hardware itself now, because it is pretty much same as PC, but rather the software (i.e. OS) because it is not yet targeted as intensely as windows by the evil doers

I wasn't talking about jail breaking which involves any physical change to the product, rather with regard what you can use on it.

I totally disagree that they lend you products. Under warranty you have to abide by many rules. I don't see the issue with it, its just another reason to knock Apple for doing something most manufacturers would do any way.

Again it is the pretty similar argument as above to which I just replied, however, where all others would still try to conceal it under some sugar coating, Apple is plainly blatant in its efforts to go as far as scare everyone to submission, e.g. by telling that 'jail breaking can cause cell phone networks to crash, or it will help drug dealers (oh for heavens sake, I haven't heard such stupidity from any of the big Top 10 corporations).

But such uses aren't contemplated by most jailbreakers, who generally want to install applications that Apple won't approve for the App Store and perform a variety of customizations, such as Springboard skinning. Most jailbreakers still want their phones to work, and likely aren't interested in bringing down the network.

I don't have any thing against or in favor of Apple, it is rather simple notion i.e. don't stick your nose where it is not wanted.

JudaZ said:

Guess you should not use an apple product while having sex, out jogging, surfing for porn and so on.

Bad also if you are very excited about you new overpriced white iThing from Apple and right then and there activate this feature.

later on when you are more bored with the whole thing you cant login anymore

kyosuke said:

What does the Warranty cover? somebody please tell me, for what I know is if any Apple product messes up, Apple finds a way to say the warranty isn't valid or my personal favorite "I can only tell the person who bought the *the item*"....

And if anybody has iPhone 3G with IOS 4 on it Jailbreaking is a must.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You know, everybody howled bloody murder when they found out the XP would have to be activated. Now look at you, arguing over whether or nor Apple should be able to have their stinking iPhone run a biometrics scan on you. What sheep you've become.

If you lose it, or your stinking iPhone gets stolen, just call the police and report it,. Use a land line, remember what that is, anybody?

I'm sure that you're comforted that Steve Jobs is probably sitting on the can monitoring heartbeats, even as we speak. But get over it, that's just a crutch! Show some independence, buy a Droid!

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not bothered about iphone or the likes, I'd like to keep my money in pocket rather be wasting it on them.

For now, I'll stick with my samsung and nokia till they die of 'natural causes'

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

There is nothing saying Apple is going to take your information and send it to Cupertino. Even if they had your face and heartbeat how is that going to be used maliciously? Your face is captured in most businesses you enter anyway, and you are on camera when you fill your car up with fuel.

Seems to me like this is a good way to prevent theft, or if its stolen help find it or at least render it inoperable to the person that stole it. And can it not just be a nice feature? akin to expensive cars that adjust the steering wheel and seat for you when you put in your key.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

One commercial application of this technology which I can think right away is, selling the information gathered to either insurance companies and / or to health care industry, would be a quick way to make money. There are so many uses you can have with whatever sort of data you may collect. That is a fact, so the only thing required is intent, and I don't see much faith in capitalist culture we live and breath in not to do this.

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