(CNN) — Some say smartphones can take over your life. But Apple may be working on new technology that will help your iPhone potentially save your life.

Fingerprints are already used on cell phones to unlock the devices or authorize purchases. But now it appears Apple is developing Touch ID for other uses.

The company has filed patents for new technology that would secretly call for help.

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Here’s how it could work: You program a code that you can tape on your phone (pinky, thumb, pinky – for example), which lets the phone realize you’re in trouble and automatically calls 911.

The key: the phone won’t display that an emergency call is being made, so it allows you to call for help discretely, without anyone knowing.

The patent also shows a feature that could give first responders your location or automatically pull live audio and video from the phone.

It’s unclear if Apple will unveil this technology anytime soon, since patents don’t always see the light of day. But it’s a good indicator that Apple may be thinking about your safety.

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