Apple Files Patent to Allow Discreet 911 Calls

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In a bid to enhance security measures on iPhone, Apple has patented a technology that would allow users to secretly call 911 using their fingerprints.

This "panic command", when activated, would provide your location to first responders. "However, when a user utilises a mobile phone to contact emergency services in this way, that fact that he is doing so can be readily apparent to someone watching his actions", Apple writes in the patent.

If you're anxious about accidentally triggering the service, we understand.

The filing says the phone would look for a particular pattern of fingerprints, the force behind the user's touch, or a specific sequence of taps on the screen.

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The feature, which could be programmed to bypass passwords and log-in screens, may also alert authorities to a user's whereabouts and automatically pull live audio or video directly from the iPhone.

A new feature from Apple would allow iPhone users to discreetly call emergency services with a fingerprint touch, with the goal of helping people in distress evade potential attackers.

As Apple's patent, filed in March 2013, explains it, the system relies on the touch processing module the company uses to read the whorls of a finger.

The feature would build on innovations like Apple's new SOS feature, recently added to the Apple Watch to support better emergency calling.