This latest addition to Apple’s patent portfolio consists of a protection mechanism which helps in saving your electronic devices from getting damaged from accidental falls. This new technology judges the site of impact of the accidental fall, and also shifts the centre of mass of the falling electronic device.
As per the abstract in Apple’s patent,
An electronic device including a processor, a sensor in communication with the processor and a protective mechanism. The protective mechanism is in communication with the processor and is configured to selectively alter a centre of mass of the electronic device. Additionally, the electronic device also includes an enclosure configured to at least partially enclose the processor and the sensor.
Apple has emboldened a unique combination of sensors and processor functions to prevent your device from getting severly damaged due to falls. As described by Apple in the patent text, this protection mechanism includes a mass, which acts in a first capacity during the freefall and a second capacity during an alert. The processor alters the centre of mass of the electronic device by moving the mass as a response to the detection of free fall by the sensors.
This futuristic technology not only helps protect your iPhones, it can help you protect even larger electronic devices, if the protection mechanism is applied at the right place. Apple describes as to how this technology can be applied to other electronic devices as well,
The electronic device comprises an enclosure, the method comprising: detecting by a sensor a freefall of the device; determining by the sensor an orientation of the device; estimating by a processor an impact area of the device; and selectively changing the orientation of the device via a protective mechanism depending on the estimated impact area of the device.
The patent has credited Nicholas V. King Fletcher Rothkopf as the inventors of this new mechanism. The entire patent text can be accessed here.