Today the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new idea for protecting an iPhone display when falling to the ground or floor that is fully automated. Gorilla glass still shatters when hitting pavement and so the invention is to provide an added measure of protection. Four tiny projected polymer tabs eject when the device is in free-fall to provide a mini shock absorber function for the display.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 is an isometric view illustrating an example system for active screen protection; FIG. 3B illustrates the screen protectors in the extended position; FIG. 4B illustrates one or more rotary motors that move the protectors to project through the apertures on the face of the iPhone; FIG. 6 is a flowchart of the automated process that ejects the projectors in a timely manner.
Considering that Apple may be moving to a bezel-less design for the iPhone 7, the likelihood of apertures being inlaid into the display are highly unlikely.
It could be applied to a mobile device that has a bezel like an iPad – but once Apple moves to a bezel-less design it's not really viable. Perhaps you'll see it differently. For more details on this invention see patent application 20150301565 for details.
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