It looks like Apple has a new way of preventing (or at least lessen the chances of) its future phone’s display from breaking when it falls and no, it’s not the fancy Sapphire glass we once dreamed of. Instead, it’s a patent that was just awarded to the Cupertino company that will shift the weight of the phone when it falls, preventing it from landing on the face.
Called a “Protective mechanism for an electronic device”, it will rely on different sensors to determine when a phone is falling, and a mechanism will then shift its centre of gravity and make sure the phone does not land on sensitive components such as the fragile display and the ugly protruded camera.
Data will be gathered using different sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS, ultrasonic sensors and such. The mechanism will then calculate the speed of descent, time to impact, orientation and other metrics, and then rely on the iPhone’s vibration motor to change the direction of the fall.
AppleInsider reports that more exotic embodiments include internal mechanisms that latch onto or abandon the headphone cables during a free-fall, and motors that will extend or retract airfoils or aerodynamic surfaces to control the landing. Other examples include using miniature gas canisters to slow down a fall and sliding weights in an internal track by linear motors.That sounds pretty impressive, on paper at least.