Now Apple has another pair of patents for a technology that has been on the market for a while, a way to find your car without needing GPS. Well that sounds like a novel idea right? No need to turn on GPU or location services and you can track your car in an area with bad signal. Sadly for Apple when you take a look in the Play Store, iTunes App Store and even win the Microsoft Store you can find multiple programs that do help you find your car and many of them use a combination of GPS, Wireless Signal and even internal sensors.
In fact the concept that Apple is using for their non-GPS navigation goes back to long before GPS and was used by planes to navigate. Planes would use way points and distance (determined by speed) to gauge where they were. Inertial Navigations Systems were very common at one time, Apple is simply bringing a similar system to the iPhone to help in areas where there is little to no signal.
Now I know you might be thinking that the ability to use the car to automatically detect the state and begin to track the location might be new, but even that has been done before in apps that monitor and control the vehicle remotely. I can remember a person showing me this on their phone right after they bought a car with Onstar. They could find it via that app and it would guide them back.
You can check out the patents as filed below, but if you look them over and then look for apps that use one or more of these methods you will find that Apple is pretty late to the game. Then again, this would not be the first time they have filed a patent and tried to include existing technology in it. The brilliance of their plan is that they leave the patents vague enough they can go back and sue the people that were using it before Apple brought it to market. If only there was some agency that could look at patents and determine if they were based on existing technology or obvious ideas….
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