Though they seem to be making a killing from selling us new screens, Apple apparently has patented a technology that makes your phone indestructible by allowing it to manipulate itself while in midair.
While we may not have this problem for long due to more flexible and powerful glass screen prototypes on the horizon, this is still a cool concept to check out.
The patent granted to Apple would enable your iPhone to sense that it’s falling and shift its center of mass to control its landing while in midair, protecting vital components.
From Apple Insider:
In order to work, the system needs a sensor or sensor array that can detect when a device is in freefall and how it is positioned relative to the ground. These can be simple gyroscopes, accelerometers or position sensors, but the patent also notes more advanced components like GPS and imaging sensors may be employed.
Coupled to the sensor is a processor that can help determine a freefall state, including how fast a device is falling, how far away it is from the ground and time to impact, among other metrics. Statistics of various fall heights, speeds and other data can be stored on system memory to aid the processor in making a decision on how best to land the device.
Finally, the system requires a mechanism to either reorientate the device while in flight, or otherwise protect certain sensitive device components in the event of a fall. Here, the patent calls for a number of solutions, including the movement of a weighted mass within the device, a means to “grip a plug” to prevent a freefall, lift foils that can be extended out from the surface of a device, and a thrust mechanism such as a can of gas, among other countermeasures.
Pretty wacky stuff.
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