Apple’s patent for a cat-like tech could one day save your iPhone


In a move that could be a godsend to accident-prone users, Apple may be working on a way for iPhones to fall the same way cats do to protect its most fragile parts.

In a patent filing, Apple has designed a system called the “Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device” that would detect when the phone is falling and shift the phone’s weight so it falls on the side that would cause the least amount of damage, according to a report by Apple Insider.


“In one example, the protective mechanism is configured to alter the device orientation as the device is falling,” part of the patent reads. “This may allow a less vulnerable portion of the device to impact the surface at the end of a freefall. For example, the protective mechanism may be activated to rotate the device so that it may impact a surface on its edge, rather than on a screen portion.”

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And as one Apple Insider reader pointed out, that sounds a lot like what cats do in order to always land on their legs.

“Ha. This is pretty amusing. :) :) It’s like the phone equivalent of a cat, throw it in the air and it lands on its legs every time,” the user wrote.

The patent, which was filed in September 2011, also shows the iPhone could do a number of other maneuvers to protect itself. If it is being dragged off a table by a cable, it could release the cable to keep from falling. Similarly, it could also grasp on to a cable, such as a headphone plug, to break a fall.

Apple has countless patents and receives new ones all the time, so it’s unclear whether this will ever make it to new iPhones. But at the very least, it’s a neat idea that surely iPhone owners with clumsy hands would appreciate.


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