White earbudsiPods are everywhere these days, and one of the easiest ways to determine that someone has an iPod is by looking for the signature white cords. For a thief looking for an iPod, it takes no effort to seek out a potential target. And these targets could be anywhere, a mall, on the bus, or walking down the street. What if there was a built-in anti-theft system on your iPod that would only allow your device to charge one time if the device is being used without authorization, thus deterring theft?

According to Ars, a patent that was recently filed by Apple outlines a method that could be used to prevent unauthorized use. They say, “When the device suspects unauthorized use, the recharging mechanism of the device itself is disabled. Consequently, normal use and enjoyment of the device can be significantly reduced when the recharger is disabled.”
An iPod that can’t be charged is worthless which means thieves would be less-likely to target them.

What defines “authorized” use?

The patent outlines several different “conditions” that the user would define to determine whether use is authorized or not. They include:

  • The device connected to unapproved power supply
  • Device used “outside a determined geographical boundary”
  • Setting a timer for authorization to expire in which case user would have to enter in security code

I’m just wondering how long it would take for someone to come up with a way to get around such a system, because it would have to be possible. What if someone forgot their master security code, or the entire iPod freezes up and they need to reset it? I’m sure there are additional issues that I haven’t thought of, so it’ll be interesting to see how Apple would implement such a feature and if it would really deter theft.