US patent application US 2015/0319294 A1 was recently published and discloses a new panic mode for iPhones or iPads.
Users can save the fingerprints of their fingers. For example, you would generally unlock your device with the index finger or your thumb; but according to the patent application you can then also save the fingerprint of, for example, your ring finger or your little finger. If you unlock the device with that particular finger, for example, the ring finger then the panic mode will be entered and then according to the patent application your location can be sent to a predetermined server or your friends.
Audio or video can be recorded and stored on the device automatically be transmitted to any local authorities, police or your friends, so that can help to define the attacker. For example, you can then just speak and describe the attacker, either call a name or describe the attacker by his physical means, physical appearances.
So that makes life easier for you to get out of the situation to be rescued and also for the authorities to help you.
When the panic mode is entered the phone will look like it has been just shipped from the factory so no private information will be accessible, that helps if the device is stolen by the attacker then the attacker cannot access your private information.
Alternatively, a so called private mode can be entered so if you define the ring finger for the panic mode you can save the fingerprint of the little finger for accessing the so called private mode.
The private mode is very similar to the panic mode except that it does not transmit anything so your location will not be transmitted, video or audio will not be transmitted, but your device will still look like it just shipped from the factory so no private information is accessible and you can still take pictures or videos.
So this is helpful according to the patent application when you are at a rock concert or a travel abroad and when you think that your device might be stolen then you can still take pictures and videos but if your device is stolen the thief will not be able to access any private information.