Apple Developing A Mechanism For Protecting Accidentally Dropped iPhones

An Apple patent filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called “Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device”, indicates that the Cupertino company is working on a system that could protect the most fragile components of an accidentally dropped iPhone, including its glass screen, by “detecting when a device is falling and shifting the handset’s center of mass” to control its landing, Apple Insider is reporting.

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Even though the iPhone is specifically mentioned in the patent filing, the mechanism can be applied to any portable electronic device with a processor, from a tablet to a laptop. The filing shows that system needs a sensor such as a simple gyroscope, accelerometer or a position sensor, that can detect when a device is in freefall and how it is positioned relative to the ground. A processor is also attached to the sensor that can help determine how fast a device is falling.

Basically, the sensor send signals to the processor, which determines if a device is in a freefall state. If such a determination is made, the protective mechanism is deployed. Many of the embodiments focus on repositioning the device while in flight to have it impact a non-vital area or portion of the unit. In order to lessen the blow, or avoid it entirely, the protective mechanism can substantially change the angular velocity, device positioning or device rotation. 

It is unlikely that a complex system like this will be integrated into an iPhone anytime soon, especially given the device’s increasing trend towards a thinner design.

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  • Mark

    “An Apple patent filing ….
    … indicates that the Cupertino company is working on a system….”

    No, no, no, no, NO!!!!

    When will you get it through your head USMAN that Apple files patents for everything under the sun. A patent from Apple does N-O-T mean that it has ANY intentions of actually developing the item in the patent. Apple’s patents are just there if one year they decide they need it, or so they can play legal games with people who invent something similar.

  • Rio

    Why you being such an idiot for? lol

    If they took the time to think of it, of how it works and the trouble of filling patent then clearly they did so some work on it?

  • Mark

    When you have inventors coming out your ass and a massive legal department, filing patents to these people is like breathing. It’s what they do, day in, day out. Why do you think there is a website dedicated just to Apple patents. It’s a well known fact (not by you, I guess) that Apple are patent fiends. They create patents and then shelve most of them. As an example, I think this particular one is a patent for an impractical item that will never see the light of day.

    This USMAN clown wants people to think that every patent is for realsies, so he exagerates, lies and sensationalizes his stories.

  • Please do not make personal attacks towards our staff, or comments will be deleted.

  • definingsound

    Mark if you check out patent app 20130073095, it looks as though Apple has thought of a novel way of using existing technology (gyroscopic sensor, electric motor) to cause a device to fall in a damage-mitigating orientation.

    In my opinion, this is the sort of interaction-free value-added feature that pushes Apple to the top of customer satisfaction surveys. All iPhones already have a gyroscopic sensor (think “tilt sensor”) and an electric motor (think “vibrate mode”). I can only think of reasons for Apple to pursue this novel technology, that they have already developed.

  • definingsound

    T R O L L

  • Mark

    I’m stating facts. If you consider him “staff” then you become liable for his false claims. I encourage you to keep a leash on this guy. Even the article he is referencing states this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, yet he says Apple is developing it. It’s a lie. He needs to stop.

  • Mark

    It doesn’t matter what opinion you have as to whether or not Apple will develop it. The point I’m making is that a patent is not a frigin’ press release! There is ZERO evidence at this time that Apple will actually peruse this.

  • Mark

    If I were a troll, I wouldn’t be presenting rational arguments. Are you ok with being lied to and/or deceived by USMAN’s stories???

  • Rio

    Apple only fights those who copy what they have already implemented. Do you see apple fighting any company for which they hold just a patent and not a product?

    The iPad Patent was filed before its release, do you think when people saw that application they had the same reaction as you?

  • Mark

    EVERY company or individual who holds patents (as well as trademarks & copyrights) must fight any violation of their patents in order to protect them.

    As I’ve said before, Apple files patents on a regular basis and MOST never see the light of day as realized products. The S-I-M-P-L-E point here is, nobody has the right to CLAIM that Apple is actually working on something, just because they see a patent from them. This is misleading, fictitious information. The author of the above summary makes a habit of doing this. HE is LYING to you! So why is your argument with ME?!

  • Farids

    I think Apple already uses it. When iPhone 5 came out, Android Authority had a drop test of Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5 which was posted here (Thanks Gary). They dropped each phone 3-4 times from different heights and sides of the phones. At the end of test, SG3 screen was cracked to pieces, backplate flew, battery jumped out and the phone was non functional and broken. But iPhone 5 just had very minor damage. No matter how and what side they dropped it, it landed on one corner, aluminum side corner!! I remember commenting on that and wondering if Apple made that corner heavier to effect the phone landing in a fall. I’m sure you’ll find the article if you search this site.