iPhones may one day have a 'panic mode' button... just in case

Reach for an iPhone next time you're in crisis

Apple has filed a new patent that will have you reaching for your iPhone when you find yourself in danger.

So in case you're kidnapped or you think there are thieves in the house, the new patent, titled 'Fingerprint Activation of a Panic Mode of Operation for a Mobile Device,' describes a button option that can discreetly call for help.

While Apple's TouchID currently lets you unlock your phone, the panic mode patent describes the ability to assign a "secret" fingerprint that locks down the phone as well as triggering other things, like taking a photo, recording audio and sending out an emergency message.

It won't save your phone from being stolen, but instead this patent would be used for moments when you fear for your own safety, triggering an automatic response with just your "secret fingerprint."

The patent does also describe the opportunity to use different fingerprints for different apps or triggering app features, like calling a loved one with your pinky finger or opening up the messaging app with your left thumb.

Of course, it's still just a patent at this stage and may never make it into future iPhones, but it may end up happening as it essentially leverages the TouchID tech already in iPhones, which is currently only used to unlock your iPhone or logging into the App Store.

Via BusinessInsider

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