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Apple patent filing involves, among other things, an anti-theft function for cars

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,405,177) for “activation of cryptographically paired device” that involves cars and, likely, Apple’s CarPlay tech.

CarPlay provides a simplified way to use your iPhone interface on a car’s touch screen, giving users access to Siri voice controls, as well as Apple Maps, Apple Music, Phone, Messages, and a variety of third party apps.

In the new patent filing, the tech giant notes that some popular electronic devices installed in vehicles (e.g., a radio, a navigation system) include an anti-theft function where the device is automatically deactivated when the device loses power (e.g., a battery is removed). This function is designed to deter theft since the device cannot be functioned outside the vehicle. 

For some devices, the user must call an activation service to have the device reactivated. Typically, the user provides a serial number and/or other identifying information to the activation service and the service automatically reactivates the device for the user. 

n some situations, however, the user may not have the serial number and/or phone service to communicate with the activation service. Other devices allow the user to manually enter a code into the device to reactivate the device. For manually activated devices, the user may not remember the code and therefore cannot reactivate the device until the code can be obtained. 

Obtaining the code may be difficult or impossible if the user forgot the code and the code was written in a manual stored at a different location (e.g., the user’s home). Apple wants to change this.

Here’s the summary of the patent: “An event is detected at a first device. Responsive to the detection, at least some functionality of the first device is deactivated. The presence of a second device, cryptographically paired with the first device, is detected by the first device. Responsive to the detection, at least some functionality of the first device is activated or reactivated.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.