Apple applies for a patent on a new method to protect an iPhone screen

Apple applies for a patent on a new method to protect an iPhone screen
Next Tuesday, Motorola will introduce the first phone with a "shatterproof screen," the Motorola DROID Turbo 2. And that means that other manufacturers will have to play catch up. Apple might have already have a response ready. A filing with the USPTO called "Active Screen Protection for Electronic Devices," reveals a method that will protect a glass screen from shattering. We must note that this is a much more complex form of protection than whatever Motorola is adding to its screen to prevent it from shattering.

This method uses a phone's accelerometer and sensors to trigger four screen protectors, each positioned on a corner of the handset. When the phone is determined to be falling, the screen protectors pop up and absorb the shock of the impact. Once the sensors determine that the fall is over, the protectors drop back into position using motors

Other variations of the technology include one where the device's camera is used to determine if the phone is falling. Apple originally filled the application on Apr. 18, 2014. While the company toughened up the iPhone's body this year by employing Series 7000 aluminum, the glass still remains vulnerable.

According to the patent application, Apple might use this system to protect the glass on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod and on MacBooks.


source: USPTO via IBT

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32 Comments

1. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Neato

18. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

I gotta say Apple is being "innovative" with this patent :-D

22. rihel_95

Posts: 305; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Just like Air Bag for Cars? Looking forward to its implementation!

30. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Don't hold your breath. They actually they patented an airbag concept, among others, in 2011:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-files-patent-for-crack-resistant-glass_id23875 they patented a mechanism to turn the phone in midair in 2014:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-granted-patent-for-flipping-an-iPhone-in-free-fall-so-it-doesnt-land-flat-on-its-face_id63395 Their legal department will work with these patents log before their manufacturing an design ddepartments do.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

That is one retarded system. Likely never going to happen unless they want to put in 4 new motors into the phone that are fact enough to react within seconds. Not only does that add fragility to the system but thickness, and we all know where Apple likes to deliver value these days.

32. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I think Apple should just sue the ground.

33. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

"You're dropping it wrong!"

3. Subie

Posts: 2354; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

How about tiny rocket boosters. Ones that ignite just before impact. I kid of course, but it would be cool to have Iron Man tech that would bring your phone to you :)

16. 8ozchickenbreast unregistered

Have you seen The Martian? Excellent movie, check it out :)

4. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

There is no protection against a fat ass.

5. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

How about leaving a replacement screen in the box (like Note does with the S-Pen tips) and make similarly easy to replace as those S-Pen tips.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30968; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That wasn't a very smart post.

34. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Also not a very cheap one lol.

7. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

More useless tech like 3D Touch that will just add unecessary thickness and weight? That's HTC, Nokia, or Motorola style.

8. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I've seen countless iPhones with shattered screens. I've seen countless iPhones in cases without shattered screens. I've seen zero iPhones in a case with a shattered screen. USE A CASE!

9. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

_!_ U Apple How about making a good design with good materials to prevent the damage!?

12. Penny

Posts: 1847; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Isn't that the point here? They COULD go on a quest to find unbreakable glass that is thin enough to use on a phone...or they could develop mechanisms for protecting the glass from breaking. Or even a combination of both. The goal is still the same, just a different means of achieving it.

10. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

How about no screen at all. They would call it iPhone Air. ;-)

23. Tizo101

Posts: 524; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Lol +2

29. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

or iPhone shuffle

11. carlemillward unregistered

How about making the phone more grip-able or add a deceleratometer into it so that it slows down when gravity acts upon it.

13. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Wha...what?

19. carlemillward unregistered

There isn't such a thing :) But, round edges on the side of the screen makes it more likely to fall

15. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

how about making the iPhone vaporize itself in the middle of the fall?

17. Michael.Parker

Posts: 273; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Just Apple again patenting everything they have no intention of using just so they can sue everyone.

20. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

bother not, it's another patent gimmick.

21. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

How about little airbags? hahha This is pretty lame. Even by Apple's standards.

24. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

This is moronic. Why not just have it spray liquid safety foam or have a spring deploy from it so that it bounces when it hits? You know what those two ideas and Apple's have in common? If you don't, you now have something in common with all three.

25. Tizo101

Posts: 524; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Hehehe, I'm sorry but this is a dumb idea - Apple should fire whoever came up with it lol

28. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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