How Apple's New Patent Could Save Your Dropped Electronics During Free Fall

How innovation could save your phone while it's falling.

December 03, 2014, 9:30 AM
PHOTO: An iPhone with a cracked screen is pictured.
An iPhone with a cracked screen is pictured.
Ellis Nadler/Getty Images

— -- Imagine this: An iPhone so smart that when it knows when it's falling and can re-orient itself to minimize damage.

Apple has been granted a new patent for technology that can shift iPhones during free-fall so they land in a way that keeps the glass screens from cracking and cameras from being damaged.

The fall protection system includes sensors that monitor the device's position. Leveraging the accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS that are already found in iPhones, it can then gather data, such as the speed the phone is falling, its orientation and time to impact, according to details of the patent, which was first spotted by Apple Insider.

The information is them sent to a processor that can analyze the data and communicate with a motor that can adjust the center of gravity for the iPhone, allowing it to have a softer landing on an area that won't inflict as much damage on the phone, such as its side or its back.

The electronics giant certainly isn't the only company looking to save dropped electronics from impending doom.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos patented a system in 2012 that deploys little airbags for the bottom of smartphones.

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