Apple patents tech that rotates phone mid-air to break fall

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Dec 03, 2014 16:59 IST

Apple has been granted a patent for technology that detects that a phone is about to hit the ground and rotates it mid-air to limit damage.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued Apple a patent for a protection system that will consist of two parts the detection and the rotation.

The phone will be able to detect that it is rapidly falling downwards and identify its distance and angle from the ground.

To do this, the patent said it will take advantage of the components, most of which are already present, such as the "accelerometer, gyroscopic sensor, distance or position sensors (eg, radar, ultrasonic, and the like), location sensors (eg, global position system, compass), image sensors (eg, camera), sound or audio sensors (eg, speakers, microphones) which may be used as a sonar combination."

It is likely that combination of the different sensors will be responsible for the effective implementation of that function, and the patent describes a sequence in which they are activated to land on the "mathematically least vulnerable" part of the phone.

The second part is changing the phone's trajectory. Propelling it through the air is easy enough, and can be done with the motor used to make the phone vibrate, '' reported.

The patent also allows for more exotic means of propulsion, such as a gas canister secured inside "that may deploy the compressed gas outside of the device to change its orientation."

For the perfect landing, the force used has to be precisely calibrated, but the patent said that the phone may collect data, to produce a memory bank of sudden impacts.

The application for the invention was filed in September 2011.

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