Apple wants patent for sensors to track everything, including you

The iPhone maker envisions a connected network of sensors that would track your vitals and the movement of your personal belongings.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Apple wants to make a network out of physical objects so you can keep track of your things -- like your iPhone, keys, wallet-- or yourself.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has filed a patent for a "personal items network," that relies on movement-monitoring devices, according to a U.S. patent application published today.

The system would link items -- like a wallet, purse, personal data assistant, personal computer, watch, credit card, keys, and cell phone -- using sensors that can track and record changes in environment and condition.

"The invention relates to sensing systems monitoring applications in sports, shipping, training, medicine, fitness, wellness, and industrial production," the patent application reads. "The invention specifically relates to sensing and reporting events associated with movement, environmental factors such as temperature, health functions, fitness effects, and changing conditions."

The movement monitoring devices, or MMDs, can attach to virtually any item, including people. The sensors record "temperature, humidity, chemicals, heart rate, pulse, pressure, stress, weight, environmental factors, and hazardous conditions."

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

This sounds similar to the technology that powers wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit Flex or the Nike FuelBand .

But Apple's MMD sensors can also attach to packages or furniture so you can track how your mailman or delivery guy is handling your belongings. If an unauthorized person tried to remove the sensor, it would alert you, according to the patent filings.

"A MMD of the invention can attach to furniture to monitor shipping of furniture. If the furniture were dropped, an impact event occurs and is recorded within the MMD, or transmitted wirelessly, with an associated time tag," the document reads.

[Via AppleInsider]
 

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