Apple has managed to acquire the patent for an amazing technology that will allow the smartphone to ascertain when it is falling. When you drop your iPhone, the technology shall calculate the distance to the ground and take countermeasures to ensure that the smartphone falls in such a way that the critical components remain protected. United States Patent 8,903,509: “Protective mechanism for an electronic device” has been recently awarded to Apple.
The patent entails a device that will make use of motion sensors to determine if your iPhone is free-falling and carry out calculation regarding the trajectory of the device and the point of impact. This is followed by mechanical countermeasures allowing the phone to change the course it would take by tinkering with its orientation and angular momentum.
A few methods that have been mentioned in the patent talk about a weight located in the device that would shift, employment of rotating motors to vary the angular momentum and use of aerodynamic airfoils to break the speed. The device will also be able to retract and the movement of its components shall be accounted for in case of an impact. It may very well grab more tightly onto the headphone cable and thus prevent the impact or could make use of tiny pressurized gas cylinders to create angular thrust.
The patent doesn’t mean that this technology will be incorporated into the next iPhone for sure. Nonetheless it is a nice step towards making our gadgets and devices more safe and protected. The dropping of gadgets is one of the major reasons why the gadget gives up on the owners. Imagine how it would feel if your device could protect itself even in the case of falling. Sounds reassuring, right? Fingers crossed!