Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200169855) for “systems and methods for locating mobile devices within a vehicle.” The idea seems to be a vehicle-specific version of “Find My” for folks like my wife and daughter who are constantly misplacing their iPhone (or iPad or Apple Watch.)
In the patent filing, Apple says that mobile device in cars may move, fall onto the floor, or slide into a location on the vehicle that’s difficult to see or access. As a result, mobile devices are often lost inside vehicles. Current methods for locating a mobile device in a vehicle require some degree of manual intervention, which, as Apple notes, can be tedious and cumbersome. The tech giant wants to change this.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “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.”