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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

Apple's idea for a screen protector involves bumpers popping out of your phone

The four retractable ‘tabs’ would be located at each corner of a phone’s display, activating anytime it senses a fall.

A sight nobody wants to see.
A sight nobody wants to see.
Image: Shutterstock/Jan Faukner

DESPITE THE MANY advances they have made, smartphones are still just as vulnerable to a bad drop as they were years ago.

Apple is one company looking at ways to prevent cracked screens from happening with future devices, and its latest idea is a mechanism that activates when a phone is dropped.

The patent, which was issued earlier this week, would use protectors or ‘tabs’ at each corner to absorb the fall.

When the phone senses it has been dropped, the tabs would pop out, functioning as a shock absorber and preventing the screen from hitting the surface.

When it absorbs the fall, the tabs retract after a period or when it knows the danger has passed.

The ‘tabs’ could be made from different materials like plastic, polymers or thin metals.

iPhone bounce patent Source: US Patent & Trademark Office

iPhone patent 3 Source: US Patent & Trademark Office

The screen is the most vulnerable part of a phone and while manufacturers have opted for tougher glass and metallic frames, dropping it can still undo those measures.

This isn’t the first patent Apple has issued as a way of solving this problem. A similar one was issued last year where a phone would reorient itself if dropped, similar to how a cat would land on his/her feet when dropped.

Read: Facebook admits its app is draining your iPhone’s battery >

Read: This secretive company backed by Google is in the spotlight again >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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