An Apple patent application published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a unique wireless security system being developed by the company for its retail outlets. According to Patently Apple, the multi-stage wireless device security system will disable any unpaid device as soon as it leaves the store.
The filing notes that as soon as the system determines that one of the inventory electronic devices is being moved towards a boundary of the security area, it sends an alert to a device carried by store employees. If the system determines the device has left the security area, it will render the device useless.
Additionally, the individual inventory electronic devices may also monitor their own locations and determine when they are being moved towards a boundary of the security area:
While outside of the security area, the inventory electronic device may ignore all or some user input, such as by disabling hardware buttons, disabling touch inputs, etc. If the inventory electronic device is not returned to the security area within a threshold amount of time, the inventory electronic device may attempt to transmit a distress message with its location, such as over an open Wi-Fi network, via a cellular connection, via Bluetooth discovery messages, and the like.
Apple’s patent application was originally filed back on Q1 2019.