It looks as if shattered screens may become a thing of the past for future iPhone owners. Today, all eyes are being drawn to a patent filed by Apple that is labeled “Protective Mechanism for Electronic Device.”
The device for which the patent was filed seems to be a kind of fail-safe in the event that the iPhone is dropped. The invention works to sense a damaging fall and reorientates the device to avoid damaging the phone’s most vulnerable components, such as the glass display. An excerpt from the patent overview reads as follows:
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.
Of course, the new invention could be used in any device, such as a laptop, eReader or even a tablet, but Apple’s iPhone is specifically mentioned in the language of the patent.
The ability for the iPhone to be able to reorient itself in mid-air could definitely be a game changer in the Apple-Samsung struggle. However. it seems highly unlikely that we will see an orientation device like this in an iPhone anytime in the immediate future, due to the current emphasis on thin and light in the smartphone world.