Apple has filed a patent application for technology that would allow foldable iPhones or iPads to detect when they have been dropped and fold up to minimize damage.
This new patent application, titled “Self-Retracting Display Device And Techniques For Protecting Screen Using Drop Detection,” seeks to protect foldable iPhones or iPads from damage by proposing that the display itself can choose to break away or fold in such a way that the screen is protected.
Apple patent proposes self-retracting screens for drop protection in foldable iPhones
According to the patent application, “Mobile devices with foldable and rollable displays can use a sensor to detect vertical acceleration (e.g., acceleration with respect to the ground) to determine if the mobile device has been dropped.” If the sensor detects a drop, the device can retract the screen or activate a release mechanism for a hinged connection between displays.
The proposed technology concentrates on how to react to drops and includes drawings of various types of folding devices, such as foldable iPhones or iPads. The patent application is credited to two inventors, Hoon Sik Kim, and Michael B. Wittenberg. Both have previously worked on details for a folding iPhone, including the use of geared hinges.
While these proposals would help with foldable and rollable devices, there can never be total protection against drops, and it depends on how fast the device can register a fall and how high it’s dropped from. Apple has long been researching foldable devices such as an iPhone or iPad and has also looked at rollable screens. The company aims to present a larger display on a small device, but both can result in a screen that is potentially vulnerable to damage.
This patent application provides an interesting insight into Apple’s ongoing research and development of foldable and rollable devices. While there is no official news on whether Apple will release a foldable device in the future, the company has filed multiple patents related to foldable technology. This new patent application suggests that Apple is actively working on protecting foldable and rollable screens, which could be a key factor in the adoption of these devices by consumers.