Is That an iPhone 5 Airbag in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
A new report claims that an Apple patent outlines an airbag-like invention for protecting an iPhone for drops. Could this patent end up on the iPhone 5?
The iPhone 5 rumor mill has been rife with rumors about features, ranging from pico projectors, NFC, and 4G LTE to the more ambitious holographic displays and keyboards. But a new report from ITProPortal claims that Apple may be developing an airbag-like feature for the iPhone that would protect it from drops.
According to the article, “The innovation relies on a tunable shock mount under the glass screen with a “liquid based micro inflatable bladder” which has the functionality of a car airbag and protects the device from breaking when dropped. The small airbags are designed to inflate in a split second when the accelerometer senses a drop-like movement.”
If you have ever experienced the force of an airbag inflating in an automobile, then you know that it is hard to imagine that the same type of technology would even be considered for a mobile device that many people carry inside their pockets. While the notion of protecting your iPhone from a nasty drop using next-generation technology like an on-board airbag may sound like a great idea on paper, the reliability of such technology in real life raises questions about the above-mentioned accelerometer would be able to accurately assess a “drop-like movement” from a safe movement.
A “false positive” could result in a very embarrassing wardrobe malfunction.
A more viable alternative would seem to be continued advancements in “gorilla glass,” LiquidMetal or carbon fiber chassis, and streamlined hardware that, when paired with rugged exterior iPhone cases, could withstand a fall without the use of airbags.