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Apple patents iPhone-flipping fall protection


broken iphone screen

Apple has just been granted a patent that looks to avoid smashed iPhone screens by flipping your handset mid-air.

The zany innovation means your iPhone would work out how it’s going to land after being dropped, and re-adjust to minimise the damage.

It would use pre-existing sensors built into the device like the accelerometer and magnetometer, which would give the phone a good idea of how it’s about to hit the floor.

Once that’s been clocked, a dedicated processor would then decide what the best course of action.

Should your phone be a dead cert to hit the ground face-down, a motor inside the phone would then act to readjust the phone’s mass distribution and – hopefully – flip it into a less compromising position.

The vibration motor inside the phone could already provide this function, although its output would need to be cranked up to have any real effect on free-fall motion.

It’s not a bad move – around 31 per cent of Blighty’s denizens are estimated to have suffered broken smartphone screens, with 17 per cent of crackers still using devices despite the damage.

Should your phone break before Apple manages to implement its wacky phone-flipping tech, you’ll be glad to hear US firm iCracked is now plying its trade on British soil.

The screen-repair team promises to repair phone screens with same- or next-day availability, with a typical fix taking around 15 to 30 minutes.

Read More: Apple iPad Air 2 review

Via: USPTO, Apple Insider


December 2, 2014, 4:24 pm

Could make one end heavier, so it lands end-on (e.g. the bottom). Though perhaps the balance in the hand would 'suffer'?


December 2, 2014, 11:09 pm

Do you think it could also fire off an email to the repair centre so the owner can also get expected time for repair and lead time on delivery. I am guessing we will see some fools throw their phone in the air now. Oh the stupidity of this...


December 3, 2014, 12:02 am

heavy things fall at the same speed as lighter ones (unless the weight is so low that you need to allow for wind resistance). So the heavy end won't get there any sooner than the lighter end.

Matthew Salmon

December 3, 2014, 12:48 am

Is this a joke . april fool.. an internal vibration motor flips the phone? come on.. laws of physics anyone?

Prem Desai

December 3, 2014, 7:21 am

Who's gonna be the first to test their phone??

I can't see how this will stop the glass display from shattering though as the shock would still be transmitted to it. Crumple zones are not an option with slim phones!!

I suspect it may be more fruitful to explore unbreakable display technology and to stop using suck fragile materials like aluminium for the case.

Having said that, if Apple (or anyone) can pull this off, it'll be fantastic.....

Hamish Campbell

December 3, 2014, 9:37 am

Simple, auto deploying parachute. I guess the only reason they aren't going for that is that someone else has the patent.

Joe Anthing

December 5, 2014, 8:32 am

Do you know how the laws of physics works???? The motor spinning in one direction will spin the phone in the other. Works like a gyro.

Joe Anthing

December 5, 2014, 8:36 am

iPhone's typically all have a design flaw (except the iPhone 6 actually). The surround is made from metal, which upon impact deforms and doesn't return to the original shape, this breaks the glass and becomes evident when replacing the screen and it doesn't quite fit. Typically corner impacts are most likely to cause screen to smash.

The iPhone 6 has plastic joins around the top and bottom of the phone which allows them to take the impact better, although they still break easily.

The idea of this would be to prevent the phone from falling on the corners, and spreading the impact over a larger surface.

Joe Anthing

December 5, 2014, 8:37 am

foold through?

Matthew Salmon

December 5, 2014, 9:30 am


Joe Anthing

December 5, 2014, 9:50 am

It's the same principle of why helicopters need a tail + rear propeller to keep the helicopter from spinning.


December 8, 2014, 3:15 am

hehe I meant to say throw in the air, I should remind myself to check my grammar before I submit in future. Thanks !

Joe Anthing

December 8, 2014, 5:00 pm

A tail fin might work. You know, for those days I'm up in the hot air balloon!

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