The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent filing describing a unique mobile device feature that can automatically request assistance if it is determined that a user is in distress. Apple’s patent application for “Mobile emergency attack and failsafe detection” covers a software and hardware implementation for an emergency services request system using the one thing almost everyone carries on a day-to-day basis: a smartphone. The filing describes a system that uses a mobile device’s onboard sensors to detect a probable emergency situation, such as a physical attack against the user. The system can then automatically request help via cellphone call or other mode of communication. As Apple notes, users may encounter problems or emergency situations while traveling from one place to another.