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Google location-based security patent surfaces, keeps your phone more secure when not at home

According to a new USPTO application, Google is looking to patent a “location-based security system” for use on mobile devices. Read on to learn more!
By
August 22, 2013

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Regardless of whether we are talking about face unlock, pins, patterns or passwords – all these forms of lockscreen security can get a bit annoying when you want access to your device in a hurry. Unfortunately, if you want to keep your device safe, they are a necessary evil.

But could there be a better way? According to a new Google patent, there might be.

As detailed in a new USPTO application, Google is looking to patent a “location-based security system” for use on mobile devices. This means that your phone could automatically change up the level of lockscreen security depending on your location. Furthermore, users could define what type of security to use in new places, familiar places and very familiar places.

While this feature might not improve device security, it certainly could make accessing your phone more convenient without leaving it completely open to unauthorized users.

If you are at home, it might only require a slide-to-unlock action to open up your device. In your office, you might utilize a simple pin.

On a road trip and staying in an unfamiliar hotel? The device would require a more secure form of authentication before letting you into your phone.

patent-info

Sounds intriguing but how exactly would your phone know whether a place is familiar, very familiar or totally new to you? The patent reveals that if a ‘threshold’ amount of successful user authentications have taken place in a certain location, it would be marked as familiar. No word on how it would determine ‘very familiar places’, though perhaps users can manually define this or even set a home location.

While this feature might not improve device security, it certainly could make accessing your phone more convenient without leaving it completely open to unauthorized users.

Of course not everyone will want this kind of feature, such as people who don’t want their phone to end up in the hands of co-workers, roommates or children. Still, it would be nice to have this as an option.

What do you think of this latest Google patent, is this something you’d like to see incorporated into Google’s OS?