Saturday, November 27, 2021
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An Apple Car might include sensors to help you find lost iPhones, other devices

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210265714) for “systems and methods for locating mobile devices within a vehicle.”

If the idea ever comes to fruition, an Apple Car would include sensors to help you find misplaced items such as an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Assuming, of course, that they were left in the vehicle.

About the patent filing

As Apple notes, passengers in vehicles may carry mobile devices into the vehicles. Once inside, a passenger may place the mobile device at a location inside the vehicle cabin. Occasionally, the mobile device may move, fall onto the floor, or slide into a location on the vehicle that is difficult to see or access. As a result, mobile devices are often lost inside vehicles. Apple says that current methods for locating a mobile device in a vehicle require some degree of manual intervention, which can be tedious and cumbersome. Apple wants to make it easier to find your missing goodies.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract 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.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.

If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.The accompanying graphic illustrates a vehicle comprising a transparent surface which provides an augmented reality display that modifies occupant-perceived information presented by a sign located in the external environment.

The accompanying graphic illustrates a vehicle that includes a device location system using signal sensors to determine a device location.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.