Apple is exploring the possibility of adding a smart smoke detection system to the iPhone, iPad, and other devices, a new patent reveals. The feature is designed to alert users to potentially dangerous situations and provide them with helpful information.
Apple’s patent, entitled “Wireless device networks with smoke detection capabilities,” isn’t just for portable devices like iPhone and Apple Watch, but also for Macs and other Apple products. It could be useful inside a device like the Apple TV or an Airport base station.
The patent describes a system that employs a variety of sensors typically found in light-based or ionizing smoke detectors, but they are miniaturized to fit inside smaller devices. Apple also details methods that use existing iPhone components such as the camera to detect smoke.
When the devices do detect smoke, they will notify the owner, and may even alert the emergency services automatically, passing on useful information like an address, device location, and more. The device may also be able to provide the user with information like temperature.
As with all Apple patents, nothing confirms the features detailed in this one, which was first filed in May 2013, will make their way into a future device. It certainly seems like it could be a useful addition, however.[via AppleInsider]