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Will the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 make tracking friends and family easier?

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Apple has published two iOS patents that could give users the ability to send real-time tracking notifications and track users indoors.

Described by AppleInsider (which found the two patents) as a tweak to the Find My Friends app, the patent titled "Customization location notification" allows users to request notifications based on your friend or family members' movements.

If the request is accepted, when he or she crosses a "geofence boundary," the first user will receive a custom notification, be it a text, email or "other form of communication."

Geofenced zones can also be selected, so that when you and your iOS device leave or enter that area, your device can broadcast a notification to the person you are sharing your location with - all of which add up to sound like a more advanced, grown-up version of Find My Friends.

Leveraging iBeacon?

The other patent, titled "Indoor remote triggered location scanning," describes a technology that allows your location to be tracked inside buildings.

This patent would use "nodes" or indoor antennae (basically the same tech used in Apple's iBeacon technology), which can triangulate your device's location, even as you move around.

Though the technology for both patents are a little creepy, we can see how it could be beneficial as well.

Sending geofenced location notifications could become an easier way to let people know how close you are to, say a restaurant, without having to send texts, a safer alternative than texting while driving.

Still, there's no knowing when or even if these two patents will ever find their way onto Apple devices, though perhaps the technology is destined for the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7.



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