According to a new Apple patent published today, a feature would enable your mobile device to detect an emergency and alert the police when you can't. It sounds better than a lot of patents they've applied for!

The patent application for "mobile emergency attack and failsafe detection" outlines a series of ways your smartphone can be configured to send distress signals out. The parameters include and are not limited to events that could trigger the emergency, whether it is a shock detected by the accelerometer or a sudden noise picked up by the microphone or more.

The application also mentions a "dead man's switch", where a user would hold down a button or portion of the screen and letting it go would trigger the response. 

Another implementation would detect traffic accidents by monitoring accelerometers for a sudden stop.

Sounds like a great feature to have. But will we see it anytime soon in our smartphones? This feature, as described in the patent papers, doesn't seem to require any technology that isn't already baked into most every smartphone. So maybe we'll see it soon. Hopefully.