If you’ve ever accidentally dropped an iPhone, you’ve known the fear that comes with picking it up and hoping the screen hasn’t cracked. With the cost of a replacement reaching upwards of $300, that can be one expensive accident.
In a recently filed patent, Apple outlines a series of technologies that might make those moments a little less tense.
The patent plays coy about the screen’s frailty, describing methods for preventing damage to an unspecified “vulnerable area” of a device. One such method incorporates a sensor and a compressed-gas “thrust mechanism.” When the sensor discovers that it is hurtling toward the ground, it triggers the thrust mechanism to flip the device over, hopefully turning the screen away from anything that might break it, while also deploying airfoils to alter its speed and aerodynamics.
If the idea of your iPhone gliding safely to the ground when you drop it isn’t enough for you, Apple has also given some thought to prevention. The patent describes “gripping members” that would turn power cords and headphones into grapply hooks to prevent the iPhone from entering free-fall in the first place.
While it’s certainly nice that Apple is finally taking the fragility of their iPhone into account, one has to wonder, given that a breakable iPhone already costs $500: just how much will an indestructible one cost?
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