Have you ever dropped your Apple iPhone and picked up to a spider-web ‘cracked’ screen? For a device that can cost over a thousand dollars, the last thing you want is losing it to butter fingers. But it seems like shattered screens might be a thing of the past as Apple has just filed a patent to make iPhone screens shatterproof.
The patent filed by Apple’s mechanical engineer Tyson Manullang is titled “Active screen protection for electronic device” states that retractable bumpers will automatically be triggered if a device starts to fall.
“An electronic device includes one or more screens, multiple screen protectors moveable between a retracted position and extended position where they extend above the screen to create a gap, and one or more sensors. When the sensor detects a drop event, the screen protectors move from the retracted to extended position, functioning as a shock absorber and preventing the screen from connecting with a surface that the electronic device contacts. In some implementations, the screen protectors may be multiple tabs that may be moved between the retracted and extended positions by one or more motors and/or other actuators coupled to one or more pinions. Such tabs may be formed of various flexible and/or rigid materials such as plastic, plastic film, polyethylene terephthalate or other polymers, metal, thin film metal, combinations thereof, and/or other such materials”, was mentioned in the patent filing.
In summary, this feature works by using a sensor to detect a drop and the ‘screen protectors’ will extend itself from a retracted position to form a shock absorbing bumper to shield the screen from the impact. Kind of like how the bat mobile goes into bulletproof mode. The patent further describe that these retractable shock absorbers may be made of materials like plastic, polymers or metal.
Sounds like something for the distant future? We just hope that we get to see this feature on the iPhones soon.