Future iPhone May Land Safely When Dropped

Apple seeks patent to make sure phones re-orient in mid-air

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 23, 2013 2:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ever cracked your cell phone by dropping it on a hard surface? You may be pleased to know that Apple has submitted a patent for a device that would flip over falling iPhones so they land without breaking the screen, the Telegraph reports. First revealed on Appleinsider, the mechanism would measure a phone's fall with position sensors, accelerometers, or gyroscopes. How to flip it around in mid-air? Apple considers using:

  • "Lift foils" that emerge from the surface of the phone
  • Thrusting gas to turn the phone around
  • A weighted mass inside the phone

The patent also looks at ways to stop iPhones from being dragged off tabletops by their cables—perhaps by ejecting the cables when pulled rapidly along a surface. Sadly, the Telegraph notes that none of these plans seem close to fruition.

Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone Monday, April 9, 2012, in New York.
Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone Monday, April 9, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)
In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, file photo  a customer tests the new iPhone 5 at the Apple store in Hong Kong.
In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, file photo a customer tests the new iPhone 5 at the Apple store in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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