Future iPhones may come with wings. That’s at least according to a patent awarded to Apple that seeks to provide a way to prevent iPhones from smashing and cracking when they’re dropped.
According to the patent, which was awarded to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and initially reported by AppleInsider, the company is experimenting with ways to physically alter the movement of its phones as they fall, so that they land in a way that will cause the least amount of damage.
In its patent filing, Apple points to a multitude of potential options to accomplish this task, including strapping its phones with built-in airfoils that would pop up when the handset’s processor detects that it is falling. The airfoil could, in theory, slow the phone’s descent, ensuring that it impacts the ground with less force and preventing it from suffering significant damage.
The patent also mentions a kind of thrust mechanism that would use a gas canister to generate forces from different parts of the phone and reorient it mid-fall.
Other options include a rotating mass that would spin the phone as it falls, so that it lands without shattering its display. Heck, the patent even mentions a mass, such as a battery, that could be ejected from the phone as it falls to make it rotate.
The key, the patent explains, is to get the phone to fall in a way that minimizes any potential damage. And with Americans having already spent billions of dollars to repair their smartphones in the past seven years, anything that can further reduce the amount of punishment a phone takes would be a huge benefit to consumers.
So what are the odds you’ll see this in your next iPhone? That’s hard to say. Tech companies like Apple usually stockpile patents for a variety of applications in case they may be useful in future products, or can be used against competitors during litigation.
What’s more, some of the options mentioned in the patent are fairly outlandish. I mean, airfoils on a smartphone? Really? In other words, it’s highly unlikely that the next iPhone will include any variation of the aforementioned drop-protection measures. That said, a flying iPhone would be pretty awesome.
#Source: Yahoo News