Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) applied for a patent on technology that can rotate an iPhone in midair to protect the most sensitive and vital components from damage more than a year ago. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has now officially granted the patent for that technology to Apple.
Apple tries to protect iPhones
One of the biggest complaints Apple has received over the years relates to how easily the iPhone breaks when it is dropped. Cracked screens are very common, but Apple’s new patent could prevent them from happening. Apple Insider was one of the first to spot the awarded patent.
When the new technology finally makes its way into the iPhone, the device will be able to detect that it is in freefall. It will then be able to estimate how far it is from the ground and the angle and speed at which it is falling. The smartphone will use its accelerometer, gyroscope and sensors to collect this data and use it to change its orientation so that it lands on the ground with the least amount of damage done.
How Apple’s new patented technology works
For example, the iPhone will be able to change its trajectory or the angle at which it is falling using the motor that makes it vibrate. Apple may even include something like a gas canister inside the iPhone to change its orientation by deploying compressed gas outside of the smartphone.
PC Pro reports that the technology could even eject the battery, thus breaking up the device while it is falling. The point of breaking it up is to reduce how much damage is down to an iPhone when it is dropped. The smartphone could even use the headphone jack, causing it to grip the 3.5 millimeter pin if it’s attached by contracting. The iPhone would assume that whoever is wearing the headphones has ears that are strong enough to keep it from falling down or that their reaction time is fast enough to catch the cord of the headphones.
Another possibility is to use aerodynamics to activate an “air foil” to slow down the pace of the fall. The deployed flap would increase drag in order to do this.