Mid-air rotating iPhones? Apple patents technology to soften falls

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Cracked screens are the bane of many iPhone users, but soon, this may be a thing of the past.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a patent for technology that is able to detect when a phone is falling and rotate the device to soften the impact.

The intelligent cat-like technology would be able to detect the speed of the fall and distance from the ground, then use this calculation to adjust the phone into an angle that would cause the least damage to the delicate exterior.

According to the patent the feature would partly include technology already present in the phone, such as a combination of the location sensors (GPS, compass), accelerometer, image sensors (camera), sound sensors (microphones).

The most likely method to change the falling iPhone’s trajectory will be a form of vibration motor such as the kind already present. Interestingly, the patent also mentions that a gas canister inside “may deploy the compressed gas outside of the device to change its orientation”.

According to RT (Russia Today) the application was originally filed in 2011 with drawings that matched the older model iPhone 4.

However, the recently released iPhone 6 has been praised for being more robustly built, less delicate, and called the “least breakable phone ever” by SquareTrade.

Unfortunately, this may suggest Apple has taken the more unremarkable precaution against cracked screens and we may not be able to get our hands on a phone with rocket boosters anytime soon.