Your next iPhone’s level of security might soon depend on where you are. A new patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method that would adjust an iPhone’s security levels based on its location. That means something like unlocking your device at home will be much easier than doing the same thing at a restaurant down the street.
Not only would the patent determine location data, but it would also account for what network a user is on. So, for example, if you’re at home on Wi-Fi, your iPhone would know this and adjust your device’s settings so you don’t have to go through the typical PIN unlock. Apple has made it super simple to unlock the iPhone 5s with Touch ID, but this would be an added touch to make the device even more flexible depending on where you are.
“Because some locations may be inherently more secure, such as a user’s home or office, these locations may be considered ‘safe’ and require less stringent security,” the patent reads. “It can be desirable to have decreased security requirements when the mobile device is at a secure location.”
Of course, if you do choose to use the location-based security, your phone might be more vulnerable to prying eyes at a “safe” location like your home. However, the security feature will certainly be convenient for those who take their security seriously in places outside of their designated safe zones.
Meanwhile, on the opposite end, Apple would implement even stronger security in “unsecure” areas. If you’re at your school’s library, for example, your iPhone would know to increase security requirements, such as using a PIN and Touch ID technology.
The patent was just granted last week, but was filed all the way back in 2012. Apple still has a few months to go until iOS 8 is officially released to consumers, so we could see this patent implemented sooner rather than later. Just because Apple was granted the patent, however, doesn’t mean the company will actually use it.