Apple Moves Ahead With Presence Sensing
Apple has applied to patent a new system to allow phones or other devices to recognise users by detecting skin tone, heartbeat, breath patterns or even recognising faces.
The innovation, lodged with the US Patent and Trademark Office, "reveals their ongoing work in advancing presence technology".
The patent application is examined in detail on the website Patently Apple, which describes itself as "celebrating Apple's spirit of innovation".
It says: "Being that this is Apple's third detailed presence related patent, we could safely say that it's becoming an important trend worth noting going forward."
Patently Apple says: "Apple began their work on this project back in October 2009 and followed through with an extensive patent application in December 2011.
"In their latter application, Apple was exploring the use of sonar technology and in their current work Apple reveals a number of other sensors being considered such as radar."
It adds: "According to Apple, radar is sensitive enough to detect a user's heartbeat in a room. Another kind of sensor listed could detect carbon dioxide emissions from a user's breath."
The system will reportedly provide new and faster "awake" functionality, better power saving modes and even advance display interactions with a user.
In one example, Patently Apple says, Apple states that as a user physically moves toward or away from their display, the imagery on their display will automatically zoom in or out.
Patently Apple also reports on a less exciting but possibly just as useful technology the company is working on.
It is developing a feature that will stop an iPhone from falling off a hard surface when it is left on vibrate.