Apple was awarded two new patents on Thursday focused on geofencing, the technology that powers the Find My iPhone app among other features.
One patent is titled “Customized location notification.” It takes Apple’s Find My Friends app to a whole new level. The filing describes a complex system in which you can request specific text-based notifications based on your friends’ movements. So, for example, you could set it up so your phone buzzes when a specific person is 10 minutes away from your house, giving you plenty of time to get ready before they arrive.
Apple’s second new patent deals with “Indoor remote triggered location scanning,” which translates to better indoor mapping. Specifically, the new technology could triangulate and track your exact location in a store or some other venue using stationary nodes that talk directly to your iPhone. That’s similar to what’s already available with iBeacons.
These are just patents and there’s no guarantee Apple will ever actually introduce these new features. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the company offer improved geofencing in the future though, and this seems like a good enough place to start.