Feeds

back to article Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES

Apple has patented a system that will automatically detect when a user is driving, and lock out texting and other potentially distracting activities. The company writes in patent No. 8,706,143, published Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that the proposed system could use some combination of synching, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Class action

No, not by Apple but from people who are wrong stopped from using items they own.

12
1
Bronze badge

Re: Class action

I assume this will not be on by default, but who knows. Once this kind of thing exists from someone like Apple, insurance companies will start using it. Don't have your anti-texting app on? Welcome to double insurance premiums!

2
1

Crapple

Apple designing the nanny phone.

You should have expected that garbage from the walled garden people.

Boycott Crapple, Microcruft and Scroogle's SD-card-slot-lacking Nexus devices.

0
0

How exactly

Is this system supposed to distinguish between unsafe and safe if its being held low and with the front point up towards the roof?

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: How exactly

If the car door is on the left, you're in the driver seat (in the USA anyway)

0
5

Re: How exactly

Don't think the camera is that wide angle is it? all it will see is your head and the roof.

2
1
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: How exactly

If the car door is on the left, you're in the driver seat (in the USA anyway)

Mmm, get a lot of back-seat drivers over where you are do you?

I'm thankful I don't have an iPhone. Given I often sit in the seat they depict (one distinctly lacking in any vehicle controls) such a system would needlessly bar me, whilst letting the driver sitting to my right text away scot free.

9
1

The title is no longer required

No more people talking shite on the bus home then...

3
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: How exactly

And whilst not normally in the habit of replying to my own posts, I thought I'd point out a little interesting fact…

Here in Australia, the design rules dictate cars that are right-hand drive (as implied above). However, it is quite legal to drive a left-hand drive car on Australian roads (it's possible that they require special permission, I haven't investigated). They're rare, but do exist. There are also dual-control vehicles such as garbage collection trucks.

So any software is going to have to rely on more than just the position within the vehicle, but will also have to take into account the type of vehicle and where the steering wheel(s) is(are) located. This may be possible by means of the camera: then the software has to account for the wide variances in the visual appearance of various cars, and what the steering wheel might look like.

Then there's the problem of vehicles without a steering wheel: motorcycles, bicycles, quad-bikes, as others have already eluded to.

In order for this to work, it'll either need some specialised hardware in the vehicle to accurately derive a location for the device in question within the vehicle, or will require significant computing power to process a snapshot stream from the on-board camera in order to identify visually where in the vehicle the device is being used.

It'll probably be too complex to be practical.

1
0

Re: How exactly

Yes but not in the UK, Australia, India and about 47 others.

And have you never seen a right hand drive vehicle in the USA?

I've only been there 3 times and have seen more than one.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How exactly

I see you've got the same sort of "infrastructure and service blindess" as many Americans. If it's part of how things work, it's part of the scenery and not registered.

the entire fleet of the US Postal Service delivery jeeps comes to mind. Most, if not all, are right hand drive. They're all over and impossible to miss, but easily ignored.

0
0
Silver badge

Drvierless cars...

...cannot come soon enough.

2
4
Silver badge

Re: Drvierless cars...

They already exist. Have done for may, many years.

Just because there's a meatbag hanging onto the steering wheel doesn't mean s/he is a driver. At least not based on what I see on our roads every day.

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Drvierless cars...

"They already exist. Have done for may, many years.

Just because there's a meatbag hanging onto the steering wheel doesn't mean s/he is a driver. At least not based on what I see on our roads every day."

BA DUMP BA!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Is this a patent for an actual implementation or is it a hand-wavy " we've got all these measuring thingies and this data and stuff, so we're sure we can do this although we haven't actually worked out how yet" type of patent ? I guess the latter is much more valuable.

13
0
Silver badge

the latter, and the usual tripe at that..

This isn't an invention, this is simply mashing up some existing tech into something that provides a false sense of security.

Mind... wouldn't pass as a patent in Europe. Besides being too general and too obvious, they would have to deal with patents in place for devices which use the same technology, or tech combo, that govt's have tried to flog as "the new way to do road tax".

And *those* still aren't in every car in europe because there was no guarantee that the data they would slurp could not wind up somewhere unwanted, breaking a stack of privacy laws.

5
0
Bronze badge

It's the new Apple masterplan - patent everything they think Google might be going to invent.

0
0

GPS/cell handshake/local WiFi are all ways of determining location, and are already used by Google with their turn by turn directions. Obviously if the location changes over time, then you must be moving. It is not a novel idea. If they allow a patent for this, they'll allow one for anything.

7
0
Silver badge

Too Late

If they allow a patent for this, they'll allow one for anything.

Sadly, it seems that the USPTO pretty much do allow anything provided you pay the fee.

Patents, especially in the US, stifle innovation, exactly the opposite effect to that intended.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: Too Late

Ah, someone from the USPTO checking in with a downvote :-)

0
0

Toyota is preparing to contest the patent, it's been making cars with rounded corners for years. Michelin is relieved that it doesn't make any perfectly square tires.

7
2
Silver badge

Sack the USPO

This is crazy.

Trivial and should not be patentable.

10
0
Silver badge

Idiots will always find a way

Look for people to be holding their phone over the passenger seat with their right arm extended to be able to text.

8
0
Anonymous Coward

The idea of a patent is that the inventor of an idea to be able to capitalise on their investment in developing that idea, not for anyone who can think of an idea to to patent it just because they thought of it.

If Apple have an actual working prototype of "driver detecting locking" they should be able to patent how it actually works, not obtain patents for every possible combination of technologies which might be put together to make such an idea work.

The very fact that they can apply for patents for things they haven't actually developed at all, is exactly the opposite of what the patent system is supposed to do, which is protect actual innovation and invention.

All this does is prevent anyone who might actually consider innovating in this area from being able to do so unless they pay protection money to Apple.

16
0

Err...

Nokia Car Mode anyone?

apple, this is not innovation.

10
0

Re: Err...

My thoughts exactly!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Is it wrong ?

Is it wrong that my first thought was that this would prevent someone locked in the trunk from calling for help?

It's probably wrong...

5
0
Bronze badge

What about on my Harley? Joking.....I don't do text.

0
0
Joke

"What about on my Harley? Joking.....I don't do text."

Pussy (For not texting, not because you ride a Harley)

(Actually now I come to think of it......)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJP-XhY_SCw

0
0
Pint

texting while driving...

More fun... How about POLICE texting while riding a motorcycle...

Tempe, AZ...

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22709103/2013/06/27/tempe-motorcycle-cop-caught-texting-while-riding

San Antonio, TX...

http://www.news965.com/news/news/local/texas-motorcycle-cop-caught-texting-and-driving/nfdwK/

Houston, TX (VIDEO)...

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1303833438001/cop-caught-texting-while-driving-motorcycle/#sp=show-clips

Guess they shouldn't be allowed to issue tickets to other drivers for texting while driving...

0
0

If this is intended to be a feature of iOS 8, I will pass on installing that. If this is to be a feature of iPhone 6, my upgrade isn't until next year, so I will pass on that. If this appears in iPhone 6S, I may just have to pass on that too. That is, if this feature cannot be turned off. If it's an always on type of thing then I'll pass on the iPhone Black Box edition....

1
3
Silver badge

Oh great...

tinfoilhat/ First they get the devices into everybody's hands, then they start using them to censor behaviour.

'The Twonky' was supposed to be science fiction, not a blueprint for the future! /tinfoilhat

1
0
Silver badge
Meh

Apple files a stupid patent application;

There's a queue on the M25.

Unusual enough for news?

Meh.

0
0
Silver badge

Damn.... just when I thought we could put away the shovel

Apple unloads another truckload of manure. But it they didn't do it, someone else would have and we still be shoveling the crap out of the barn that is the USPTO.

0
0
Stop

Oh Apple!

Beware of unforeseen consequences:

As the enraged bus driver beats his unresponsive phone furiously on his dashboard.....and stalls the crowded orphanage bus on the rail crossing.....as the white-faced driver of the rapidly approaching munitions train hauls hopelessly on the brake switch.....and stares in horror at the little hands and faces illuminated by the vast headlamp of the juggernaut he was cursed to drive nightly in his dreams forever after!

1
2
Bronze badge
Devil

Please Apple...

patent the idea of locking iphones if the owner spent to much time on the loo, that way the WC will not be so smelly for to long.

0
0
Go

Too late, Apple. Windows Phone already has driving mode, which lets the user decide and select in advance if he wants his phone send a canned reply to text messages and still route phone calls through the car speakers, or ignore all distractions, etc. Pretty nifty, actually.

0
0
Silver badge

You do realize that has nothing to do with this patent

Whatever one may think about the patentability of what Apple describes, it has nothing at all to do with what you're suggesting. Apple is talking about having the phone figure out where in the car it is by looking at the windows to decide whether it is being held in the hands of the driver.

In the highly unlikely event this was behavior you couldn't turn off, one possible fix would be to set it for the UK (if in the US, or the reverse if in the UK) and then it'll let you text as the driver but not the passenger :)

1
2
Silver badge

Re: You do realize that has nothing to do with this patent

Doug, you do realise this means the phone will have to switch on the camera *without your express permission* ...

If there's one way to get your phone Banned to hell and back in Europe, this would be pretty much it..

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: You do realize that has nothing to do with this patent

one possible fix would be to set it for the UK

...because, erm, a phone that just determined you're moving fast based on GPS data clearly has no way to tell which side of the road you should be driving on wherever you are.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: You do realize that has nothing to do with this patent

it may know what side of the road you should be driving on, it has no idea what side of the car though.

For example..

I go to France. I can either take my UK spec right hand drive car, or, catch the Eurostar and hire a French spec left hand drive car.

Now, tell me how the phone knows?

2
0
Silver badge

Black insulation tape.

Or white if you got the six-months-later edition. Gotta keep it colour-coordinated.

3
0
Bronze badge

Good!

Now I'll never have to worry about encountering this "feature" on an Android.

3
0
Stop

Re: Good!

Or Google Glass?

Is it a feature Apple want to use in their own products, or just one they want to stop others using in theirs? Its a shame really, it would have been great fun disabling glasshole devices by showing them pictures of steering wheels.

3
1
Silver badge

Not content with prevent users from making calls due to Apple's own incometence in designing antennas, now that they've fixed that, they're using a patent to prevent users from making calls.

Not only that, the patent drawing prevents the front passenger from making calls, while the driver is free to tweet all they want. Seems they still think the world ends at the US borders.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Nah, it'll be a separate patent and lawsuit for right-hand drive cars.

1
0
Bronze badge

Location, location, location

So if I mount it in a cradle which is fitted to the centre console will it work for everyone or no-one?

0
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Location, location, location

Obviously, in that case you'll need to register your right hand fingerprints, and it'll only work for those...

0
0
Silver badge

So assuming the patent is actually granted, Apple has no option but to release it into the wild and let everybody use the technology covered by the patent for free.

Charging a licensing fee to competitors would be damaging to public safety.

2
0
htq

Motorola better get ready to be sued

My Moto X detects when I'm driving and helpfully offers to read out text messages or answer an incoming call by voice confirmation.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.