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.   (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.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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