The patent awarding body of the United States today published a patent application that Apple filed with it back in May 2014. It details how the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on iPhones and iPads can be used to trigger a “panic mode” which will immediately lock down the device, deny any request for personal information and even wipe it immediately.

There are multiple scenarios in which a feature like this would be very helpful, for example if someone is being forced to unlock their device they just need to put their “panic finger” on the Touch ID scanner and that will trigger the panic mode. Users will have to first register a finger with Touch ID as the one they want to use in such a situation.

As it enters panic mode the device can also use the front camera to snap a photo, potentially capturing the face of the attacker. That image would immediately be uploaded to the user’s iCloud from where they can easily share it with the police.

It may even start recording via the microphone to capture any and all audio related to the incident that warranted the panic mode to be triggered.

Like many of Apple’s inventions this just lives in the patent right now and we have no way of knowing for sure if and when Apple will bring this technology to its devices. Hopefully soon, this sounds like a rather useful feature to have on the expensive iPhone.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about .

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