AirTags could be far more versatile than anyone initially thought

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,683   +124
Staff member
Bottom line: The US Patent & Trademark Office on Thursday published what one publication is describing as master patents for Apple’s upcoming AirTags item trackers. Given the expanded scope of the project, we may now know what is fueling the delay.

As Patently Apple highlights, Apple notes that the tags could be waterproof, or at the very least, splash proof, and might be rugged enough to withstand physical bumps. An internal battery, sensors, a wireless communications system and the ability to make noise / provide haptic feedback is also mentioned, but it’s the potential use cases that are arguably the most interesting admission of all.

In one scenario, Apple envisions positioning a tag in the lobby of a building. When someone enters the lobby, their phone could detect it is within range of a tag and automatically load a map of the building on their handset. This sounds a lot like Apple’s iBeacon location awareness product.

AirTags could also be slotted into an Apple Watch band or attached to the body by other means, perhaps to facilitate augmented reality games or for other entertainment purposes. Tags may also be used as actual game pieces, one of the patents suggests.

Apple was widely expected to unveil AirTags during September's press event, and then in October, but it didn’t happen. Tech analyst Jon Prosser said earlier this month that the launch of AirTags was being pushed back to March 2021.

Masthead credit: Pres Panayotov

Permalink to story.

 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 160   +116
That diagram doesn't seem to make sense -13604 is in his B** then when he moves forward it slides down to in the back of his knee.

How is an ID tag locator even patentable? I mean don't museums and art galleries have them.
You are now in the renaissance room of the berlin gallery - the painting before you has some nice oil squirts to ward of Satan ( current story )
 

psycros

Posts: 3,228   +3,473
That diagram doesn't seem to make sense -13604 is in his B** then when he moves forward it slides down to in the back of his knee.

How is an ID tag locator even patentable? I mean don't museums and art galleries have them.
You are now in the renaissance room of the berlin gallery - the painting before you has some nice oil squirts to ward of Satan ( current story )
How does Apple always patent things that have been around for years? Buying off judges, of course.

Also, we all know these tags will be used mainly for tracking people and their vehicles. You'll have to check your belongings constantly to make sure a stalker hasn't slipped a tracker into your stuff, like you're living in a spy movie nightmare.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reehahs

Reehahs

Posts: 1,014   +630
How does Apple always patent things that have been around for years? Buying off judges, of course.

Also, we all know these tags will be used mainly for tracking people and their vehicles. You'll have to check your belongings constantly to make sure a stalker hasn't slipped a tracker into your stuff, like you're living in a spy movie nightmare.
You are right, these are hardly any different to QR codes or those beacons used for AR.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 160   +116
I can remember where but some online public person thought money should come with RFID tags - I mean maybe you think is a good idea for a few minutes at most .- no I am not going to explain why it's a bad idea.