Apple’s Patent Describes How Dropped iPhone Could Protect Itself
Roshan Ashraf Shaikh / 7 years ago
Apple’s patent which was recently discovered showed that iPhones can potentially save itself from most of the damaging during drop by detecting a fall and shifting the handset’s centre of mass before it lands.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office published Apple’s “protective mechanism for an electronic device” filing which describes that it can some or all the damage when the device is accidentally dropped. But its not limited to the iPhone as the patent describes that it can be applied to any electronic devices with a processing unit such as tablets or even a laptop, essentially suited for portable devices that used on a daily basis. Apple used the reference of its iPhone to give an explanation.
The following sentence was used to describe an example; “In one example, the protective mechanism is configured to alter the device orientation as the device is falling. This may allow a less vulnerable portion of the device to impact the surface at the end of a freefall. For example, the protective mechanism may be activated to rotate the device so that it may impact a surface on its edge, rather than on a screen portion.”
The device would be using an array of sensors to detect the freefall and position itself before dropping at the same time. This could be possible by using gyroscopes, accelerometers and position sensors, but the patent highlighted components such as GPS and imaging sensors to be used for this.
There will also be a dedicated processor to determine the speed of freefall and the distance between the phone and ground & estimated time of impact. It will be using statistics to identify fall heights, speed and other data, which will be logged on the devices memory which will be used by the relevant sensors to pick the best position to land itself to prevent major, minor or all damage.
The protective mechanism application was filed in September 2011 and was credited to inventors Nicholas V King and Fletcher Rothkopf.