Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has just filed for a patent that’s aimed at protecting the most important components of the iPhone if it should be dropped. The mechanism is supposed to protect certain parts of the device, like its glass screen, by activating when the sensor detects that the iPhone is falling to the floor. It then is supposed to shift the device’s center of mass so that it can control how it lands.


The patent is described as a “protective mechanism for an electronic device.” Apple Insider was the first to report on the new patent. The filing for it just appeared today, and it even mentions Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone specifically as being a device that could be protected by the mechanism.

The mechanism would have some kind of sensor to detect when the iPhone is in free-fall and also its positioning in relationship to the ground. The patent even goes into the use of GPS or imaging sensors for this sensor. The sensor is then attached to a processor that also is enabled to determine when the device is in free-fall. The processor then measures the speed at which the iPhone is falling, its distance from the ground and the amount of time it will take for it to hit the ground.

After the processor takes these measurements, a mechanism inside the device would either change its positioning while it’s falling or put some kind of protection in place inside the device while it falls. The repositioning would be aimed at causing the iPhone to hit an area that’s not vital to its operation.

This new patent filing is at least the second major iPhone-related one from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) within the last 30 days. The company also filed a patent for a feature that would give the device “situational awareness.” That patent would enable the iPhone to perform certain tasks automatically in certain situations.