On December 2, Apple got a new patent approved for its new iPhone generation. Apple patented a new protective mechanism for electronic devices in case of freefall or drop. This mechanism may put the new iPhones in a freefall state while rotating them so they would drop on edges rather than on more sensitive parts such as their screen or camera.
The patent is called “Protective mechanism for an electronic device” and was waiting for an approval since March 2014. The new generation of iPhones will be self-aware when they enter a freefall state, will estimate an impact point and time and they will shift their center of mass so they can twist in mid-air and have a safe landing.
The new devices will have motion, sensors, GPS, gyroscopes and accelerometers to screen position and physical activity. Apple plans to make it even safer by adding ultrasonic sensors for position detection.
All data collected through sensors will then be transmitted to an ultra- fast central processing unit (CPU). This CPU will be able to say if there’s freefall involved or not. If the device is in freefall state, the processor will use sensors to detect orientation, speed of the fall, time for impact and choose the most safely way of landing from a series of statistical data.
During its fall, the iPhone will reposition. In the patent, there were several methods described to do that – vibration motor to change the phone’s center of mass, grabbing hold of the earbud cables or mini-gas canisters for safe landing.
Nevertheless, this protection does not guarantee that in 100 percent of the cases the device will survive. It just increases its chances.
The protection mechanism may be added to iPhone 6 updates next year. The iPhone 6S, 6S Plus or even 7 are expected to have several new features, making iPhone 6 a brand new smartphone. The new iPhones will have a new high resolution camera with 2 lenses rendering an image quality similar to a DSLR.
Another new feature may be wireless charging – a technology used now for Apple smartwatches. Saphire glass is also likely to be added making the new iPhones scratch resistant. Saphire Glass is a type of synthetic crystal that is surpassed only by diamonds in its hardness. IPhone 5’s home button and camera lens were also made of Saphire Glass.
One last technological feature for iPhones could be a new A9 Samsung processor that will consume less power and will be much smaller than the current A8 series of processors.