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Future iPhones could feature a drop-detection and auto-flipping mechanism to protect the display on impact, it has emerged.

Uncovered by Apple Insider, the filing from 2011 details plans for an iPhone that uses a sensor, as well as the accelerometers and gyroscopes that are already on board the handset, to detect when the handset has been dropped by the user.

Projected impact information is then fed back to the iPhone, which uses nascent flipping technology to turn the phone on its axis – if need be – to ensure that it takes the brunt of the fall on its edge rather than full-on the screen.

iphone drop patent

Belief-beggaringly, the act of turning could be facilitated by a small thrust possibly using gas propulsion. Or arguably even more fantastical, it could even sprout mini wings.

When, or indeed if, Apple will bring the technology into the real world is something of a moot point, especially given the sheer breadth of similarly ambitious patents the company has filed which never make it beyond the drawing board.

However, given that uSwitch studies reveal that dropped phones account for four out of ten phone insurance claims, we think it’d be among the most welcome addition to an Apple handset ever.


Apple Insider

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