Russell Shaw at ZDNet, ever-watchful for patents, has dug up a pretty cool one that would let BlackBerrys issue alerts whenever a connection with another device were endangered or cut. Moreover, the non-BlackBerry device could lock up if a connection couldn’t be established. With upcoming Wi-Fi, this could be handy for making sure you stay in range, maybe with a little vibration if your connection’s getting weak. What’s most exciting about this patent from RIM is its implications for Wibree-scale operations. Let’s say your wallet, purse, keys and other daily necessities had one of these low-power, short-range chips in them, simply to make its wireless presence known. Your BlackBerry would be able to give a little buzz if you were out of range of those objects, i.e. you forgot them behind.
For the more professionally-minded, this could be a great way of ensuring secure use of tethered devices. You could ditch the handcuffs, knowing full well that whatever doohickey is in the suitcase won’t work if anyone else has it.