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Apple files anti-theft patent application

Apple has filed a patent application for a mobile anti-theft system, it has been discovered.

Entitled "Acceleration-based theft detection system for portable electronic devices," the submission outlines a system that would equip devices with the ability to determine movements "characteristic of theft."

According to the application, an alarm would trigger when the combination of relevant hardware and software concluded that a robbery was in progress.

The alarm would be customisable, with users able to alter details like the system's sensitivity and the alarm's volume. Additionally, users would be able to choose between visual and audio alerts.

The acceleration sensor, which is already built in to current iterations of the iPhone, iPad and iPod, would work alongside a controller and signal filter - which have yet to be incorporated into product designs - suggesting that the theft detection system would only become available to brand new Apple products.

In Apple's words, "The acceleration sensor is configured to sense an acceleration of the portable electronic device and provide an acceleration signal to the controller upon detection of the acceleration. The controller is configured to initiate the production of an alarm signal from the audio output based on the acceleration signal."

Following the recognition of a theft, the user will be offered a set amount of time to enter a specific code for disabling the system before the sounding of the alarm.

Also incorporated into the system would be a method for identifying and filtering out innocent actions, such as signals corresponding to impacts or collisions.