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."
This sounds similar to the technology that powers wearable fitness trackers likeor the .
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]
All the latest Apple news, featuring developments on the iPhone, iPad, Macbooks, OS X and much more.
Feb 26A world free of charging cables? It's all up to Apple
Feb 25Apple iPhone 7 Plus fire caught on video
Feb 24iPad Pro 2: Everything we know so far about the next edition of Apple's iconic tablet
Feb 235 games you can play on your MacBook Pro's Touch Bar