Apple Patents Technology to Protect Falling iPhones From Damage
The Apple patent application covers technology that rotates the phone as it falls to protect its most vulnerable glass parts.Future iPhones from Apple could include a cool technology that will protect the most delicate parts of the phone if it is dropped by automatically rotating the device in midair to help it fall in a less vulnerable way. The idea for the rotation technology was granted in a patent application approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to a Dec. 3 story in India's The Economic Times. The patent was awarded for a protection system that will consist of two parts, the detection mechanism and the rotation mechanism, the story reported. "The phone will be able to detect that it is rapidly falling downwards and identify its distance and angle from the ground," the report stated. The idea will take advantage of existing components in iPhones, including the "accelerometer, gyroscopic sensor, distance or position sensors, location sensors, image sensors [and] sound or audio sensors," as well as other parts that might be added, the story reported. "It is likely that combination of the different sensors will be responsible for the effective implementation of that function, and the patent describes a sequence in which they are activated to land on the 'mathematically least vulnerable' part of the phone. " The patent even includes details about more exotic phone movement methods, such as an internal gas canister "that may deploy the compressed gas outside of the device to change its orientation," the story reported. "For the perfect landing, the force used has to be precisely calibrated, but the patent said that the phone may collect data, to produce a memory bank of sudden impacts."
Earlier this week, rumors began surfacing about potential new iPhone models that could be expected in 2015. The rumors, which were based on unnamed supply chain insiders, are predicting a new iPhone 6S and a new iPhone 7 for release sometime during 2015.