Apple invention integrates floaties into retractable iPhone bumper

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
As a result of continued research into device protection technologies, Apple has developed an automated bumper system that doubles as a floatation device, protecting iPhones from drops and large bodies of water.




Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple's application for an "Electronic device housing" details an iPhone security system that automatically deploys protective shock absorbers when onboard sensors detect a potential impact. The claims are similar those offered in a separate Apple invention revealed last month describing an automated screen protector, but employ cushions made from a buoyant material instead of retractable tabs.

Apple first makes contingencies for drops on hard surfaces. Onboard sensors, including accelerometers, gyroscopes, cameras, microphones (in conjunction with a speaker for echolocation) and more, are configured to monitor device motion for changes in velocity, acceleration and other movement characteristic of a drop event.

When a free fall is detected, the system triggers spring loaded shock absorbers that shoot out from the device housing. Depending on the implementation, bumper cushions made of foam, plastic, rubber or other suitable material are integrated with the shock absorber mechanism to slide out on specialized support rods. These cushions can also be replaced after a drop or deterioration, a particularly useful feature if the system is designed to disperse kinetic energy by failing.




Because they are buoyant, the bumper cushions also serve as a precautionary measure against accidents involving water or other liquids. Users have been known to drop their iPhone in pools, puddles and even toilets. In some cases retrieval is difficult or impossible, as iPhones can quickly sink to unreachable depths or go missing in murky shallows. As many iPhone and iPad owners know, recovering and repairing a water-damaged device is usually less costly than replacing it.

Strategically placed at an iPhone's four corners, or along its display edges, Apple's cushion system and accompanying support structures effectively act as water wings. The document points out that an iPhone might be able to float above a liquid's surface, though such a scenario would require a perfect combination of bumper support structure extension, positive inherent buoyancy and device orientation. It should be noted that the shock absorber system does not need to deploy in order to function as a float.




Considering current iOS device design, Apple is unlikely to implement its shock absorber/floatie invention anytime soon. A more sensible approach might be the inclusion of buoyant chassis materials, or sealing internal cavities to displace external fluid, but costs associated with such designs are likely prohibitive.

Apple's iPhone floatie patent application was first filed for in May 2014 and credits Minhyung (Kevin) Moon as its inventor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,056member
    What does that last illustration show? A guy with a 1980s haircut (or a contemporary soccer player) taking a selfie while having a piss? Not sure this is a huge market... :-)
  • Reply 2 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,206member
    This is one thing that will never see the light of day.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post



    What does that last illustration show? A guy with a 1980s haircut (or a contemporary soccer player) taking a selfie while having a piss? Not sure this is a huge market... :-)

    It's obviously a rap star touring Black Mesa who got attacked by a head crab.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    This is one thing that will never see the light of day.

    Actually, I can think of five different, adorable, and very frustrating young ladies among my close friends/family members who'd hugely benefit from this.

  • Reply 4 of 16
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,058member
    dreyfus2 wrote: »
    What does that last illustration show? A guy with a 1980s haircut (or a contemporary soccer player) taking a selfie while having a piss? Not sure this is a huge market... :-)

    It's obviously a rap star touring Black Mesa who got attacked by a head crab.

    I thought it might be throwback-Bono
  • Reply 5 of 16
    dreyfus2 wrote: »
    What does that last illustration show? A guy with a 1980s haircut (or a contemporary soccer player) taking a selfie while having a piss? Not sure this is a huge market... :-)

    The guy took his iPhone out of his front pocket in case he gets some splashback and his iPhone case kicks him in the nuts... Sometimes you have to watch out for the boys...
  • Reply 6 of 16
    They forgot to mention it bounces back into one's hand.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    I thought for sure I'd be the 1st to mention the mulleted man...well the 1st to say mullet at least ????
  • Reply 8 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,368member
    Clearly those of us joking about automatically deploying parachutes might not have been so far off the mark after all! :D
  • Reply 9 of 16
    The idea is interesting, not just to protect your phone, but could have other uses. One use might be a wearable device that could be worn by people who are prone to falling. Preventing broken hips would save a lot of lives every year.

    Falling is the leading cause of unintentional injury at home among Americans 65 and older. Older people sustain such injuries by stumbling on stairs; slipping in bathtubs; falling off ladders and step stools; and tripping over garden hoses, dog leashes, and household appliance cords.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 315member

    "In case of an emergency, please fold seat trays into the upright position and use your iPhone as a floatation device"

  • Reply 11 of 16
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

    What does that last illustration show? A guy with a 1980s haircut (or a contemporary soccer player) taking a selfie while having a piss? Not sure this is a huge market... :-)

    Correction:  It isn't a huge market...yet!

    Once Apple releases it?  Whole new product segment - just like iPad & ?Watch.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    Humor in the drawing aside, what the illustration seems to tell us is there is no advances in the overall design format of the phone itself. The Bell System, aka AT&T, made telephone out of brass in the early days. Later on the moldable substances like Bakelite were employed to make heavy and breakable instruments. Finally, in the 1950's we saw phones of different colors thanks to Monsanto and a very durable plastic they developed for Bell Labs. The phone from a technical standpoint, were even better than their predecessors.

    Point is: it would seems that we are still in the "brass" era at Apple. There is really no need for such inventions as these, really, once Apple makes the jump to plastics. With polymer technology and digital printing of 3 dimensional objects, an iPhone should cost way less than it does now, be practically indestructible and light as a feather. No need for protective cases. It's waterproof, drop proof, and easily replaced. Seems like a no brainer, huh?
  • Reply 13 of 16
    ronstark wrote: »
    Humor in the drawing aside, what the illustration seems to tell us is there is no advances in the overall design format of the phone itself.

    patent drawings dont represent aesthetic product design. you know that, right?

    The Bell System, aka AT&T, made telephone out of brass in the early days. Later on the moldable substances like Bakelite were employed to make heavy and breakable instruments. Finally, in the 1950's we saw phones of different colors thanks to Monsanto and a very durable plastic they developed for Bell Labs. The phone from a technical standpoint, were even better than their predecessors.

    Point is: it would seems that we are still in the "brass" era at Apple. There is really no need for such inventions as these, really, once Apple makes the jump to plastics. With polymer technology and digital printing of 3 dimensional objects, an iPhone should cost way less than it does now, be practically indestructible and light as a feather. No need for protective cases. It's waterproof, drop proof, and easily replaced. Seems like a no brainer, huh?

    yeah man. it's that easy. if only apple weren't so greedy, dumb, yada yada...
  • Reply 14 of 16



    Are you just making a comment to make a comment.  A looser comment....Crawl back in your hole....

  • Reply 15 of 16
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

    What does that last illustration show?

     

    When the bumpers activate, the iPhone expands to 3’ tall and walks away from the danger.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    djkfisher wrote: »

    Are you just making a comment to make a comment.  A looser comment....Crawl back in your hole....

    Wow, so much negativity today. You should consider yoga classes ;)
Sign In or Register to comment.