There is nothing more frustrating than that moment your phone slips out of your hand. Time seems to slow down as you watch it plummet and crash to the ground, screen side down. You find yourself holding your breath as you reach down to pick it up, waiting to see what damage was done.
A cracked screen is the worst; while most times the functionality of the device remains unchanged, but it’s aesthetically majorly displeasing.
According to TechCrunch, a new patent filed by Apple could help change all that. The patent filing introduces a bunch of new features that would introduce a handful of systems that will help to protect devices in the wake of a fall.
One feature incorporates actual thrusters on the phone, that would help to rotate the phone so that it falls on its most impact resistant point. Another potential feature would be moving internal parts; during a free fall, the internal parts would shift to bring more weight to one part of the device, helping it to land as safely as possible.
In addition, clamps are suggested so that, say, you’re listening to music on your phone and drop it, the phone would tighten its grip on the headphone jack, possibly helping the phone stay tethered to the user’s head. Or, in the least, this could help slow down the descent.
Apple also plans on implementing a sort of black box, similar to those used on airplanes. The feature would record data when a phone is dropped, so that it would be able to use this collective information when designing future models.
These are all really impressive features and could really help make a different in mobile device durability. We can’t wait until they actually see the light of day; and to see how other manufacturers end up following suit.
Until then, we can only hope that more companies will try to implement stronger, impact-resistant screens to new devices. No one likes to look at a phone with a shattered screen.