An Apple invention discovered on Thursday describes a system that could potentially save the most fragile components of an iPhone, such as the glass screen, by detecting when a device is falling and shifting the handset’s center of mass to control its landing.
Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s “Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device” patent filing looks to alleviate some or all of the damage when a device is accidentally dropped. While the invention can be applied to any electronic device with a processor, from a tablet to a laptop, it is most well-suited for those portables that users carry with them on a daily basis. For example, Apple’s iPhone is specifically mentioned in the patent language.
From the patent overview:
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.
Read the full report and working at Apple Insider.