Apple is reportedly working on a device that would detect when an iPhone is falling and turn the cell phone around in mid-air so that it lands safely on its back without smashing the front screen.
According to AppleInsider.com, plans filed by Apple with the U.S. Patent Office state that the “Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device” would prevent damage to any electronic device with a processor, but specifically mentions the iPhone.
A falling iPhone's position "could be measured using micro gyroscopes, accelerometers or position sensors, although the patent also mentions more sophisticated equipment such as GPS and imaging sensors," reports The Telegraph.
Of course, the tough part is having the iPhone re-orient itself in the air in order to fall on its back, instead of the screen, which is almost always a fatal blow.
Apple's patent papers mention several possible solutions: a weighted mass within the iPhone, wings that extend from the surface of the iPhone and a thrust mechanism to turn it in mid-air.
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Of course, it never hurts to have replacement insurance as well.