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New Patent Could Give iPhone Cat-Like Reflexes

The hypothetical iDevice enhancement would use “input from a combination of gyroscopes, accelerometers, and GPS” to reorient the device in free fall.

By Danny Matteson | December 2, 2014

If you’re anything like us, you have a tough time keeping your phone’s screen crack-free. Ouch.

But, if you happen to own an iPhone, Apple might soon be giving you a hand — that is, if your phone were to slip out of your hand. (Video via Apple)

On Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved a patent filed by the company that would quote, “[alter] the center of mass of the electronic device by moving the mass in the protective mechanism in response to detecting the freefall of the electronic device.”

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Which in layman’s terms translates roughly to: If you drop it, it will fall kind of like a cat. iPhones and cats in the same story, how do you like that, Internet? (Video via YouTube / SmarterEveryDay)

According to Gizmodo, the hypothetical iDevice enhancement would use “input from a combination of gyroscopes, accelerometers, and GPS” to reorient the device in free fall — protecting fragile components.

Which, according to National Geographic, isn’t too far off from how cats do it.

“Cats always right themselves in a precise order. The head rotates first, based on messages from the eye and inner ear. Then the spine twists and the rear-quarters align.”

But cat-like reflexes aren’t the only way Apple is working to protect your iPhone from you. According to The Telegraph, the patent also outlines plans for a battery that would eject itself during a fall — changing the direction the phone is falling in — and a contracting headphone jack that would turn your headphones into a sort of makeshift bungee cord.

The patent was actually filed back in March, and so far there’s no indication of when a more graceful iPhone could become a reality.

But it’s not exactly a new idea. As GeekWire reports, Amazon was awarded a patent for a smartphone airbag in December of 2012.  

We don’t recall seeing that on the Amazon Fire phone. (Video via The Verge

Personally, we’d suggest a tiny, phone-sized parachute, or maybe just a firmer grip.

This video includes music from Pierlo / CC BY 3.0. 

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