Apple has been granted a new patent for technology that could be used in future iPhones to automatically change settings depending on location.

Apple Insider reports that the patent for “Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device,” could prevent iPhone owners from receiving noisy notifications while at school or work, for example.

Users could create customised alert profiles for various locations, which will be determined using GPS, cellular triangulation and WLAN communication.

Apple describes the technology as being useful for a variety of reasons, including disabling noise and/or light from emitting from a device in situations such as the cinema, for stopping communication with other wireless devices in an academic environment, or “forcing certain electronic devices to enter “sleep mode” when entering a sensitive area,” reads the patent abstract.

A similar feature can be found in iOS 5, which allows users to set reminders that will activate when they are leaving their house or arriving at work, for example. Apple Insider points out that the feature is known for draining the iPhone’s battery, however, which could also be the case with the new technology covered by the patent.

It is not yet known when the feature will be introduced to Apple’s devices, but it has not been revealed as part of iOS 6.

Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone on 12 September, alongside iOS 6, its new mobile operating system.

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