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Password Based Mobile Phone Location

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201820D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a new function for mobile phones which enables the user to locate them, even if they powered-off. The system entails a communication feature whereby the user messages (with a password) the lost phone via another device. When the phone receives the message, a locator is activated, and the phone responds to the message with its location.

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Password Based Mobile Phone Location

A function to assist a user in locating a lost phone when the ringer is turned off is not currently available in any known wireless device or carrier. Often people leave their phones in an unknown location and must either replace the device or take unnecessary time to physically locate the phone. A user might also need to track a caregiver (children or elderly) or use a location feature in a law enforcement capacity.

Current solutions include separate global positioning system (GPS) tracking hardware systems -- which are high cost, location technologies that require the device to be powered on -- or physical location features. Some mobile devices have standards or open software development kits, offering PC or server-like functionality.

This disclosure addresses the location issues described above through server- like functions and new art. No known method internal to mobile phone hardware or software is available for tracking devices that are in powered down or low power modes.

The disclosed solution entails a user sending a text/email to their phone from another device/pc as a human readable command containing a previously defined user password to the lost device. Upon receiving the command, the lost device changes the power to "on" or other highly available state (using wake-on local area network (LAN) functionality through the wireless carrier's cellular network). The device then automatically sends a response containing the location either as GPS coordinates or as a human readable location (text or graphically through a mapping program).

An example of the implementation follows:
1. Send a text/email...