There have been clumsy people since the dawn of mankind. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, clumsy cavemen dropped rocks on their toes, smashing them to bits! Not much has changed over the past couple millennia and people still have a propensity to drop and break their favorite things, namely their expensive cell phones.

Among the most common problems people see with their cell phones is breaking them, mostly the screen when dropped. A huge percentage of active use devices are covered in spider cracks tauntingly stretching across the face, back cover or both.
We’ve all dropped our smartphone at some point. Those terrifying moments from when the phone slips from your grasp until you timidly pick it up for inspection for a broken screen are among the most uncertain of your life. Seeing your phone lying there helplessly, face down on the ground is nothing short of terrifying; you never know what to expect.
Expecting the worst after dropping your cell, however, may someday be a thing of the past! That’s because Apple Computers were rewarded a patent which may just have the answer. They funded software designed to influence how effective smartphones are at taking falls.

What determines if a phone screen remains unscathed or faces its ultimate demise has everything to do with the angle at which it impacts the surface, Apple determined. This begged the question “how do we change the angle before it hits the ground?” So Apple responded with software to actually re-orient an iPhone during freefall. This is designed to change the angle of more conducive to the inevitable impact with the ground for as little damage as possible.

Utilizing various sensors such as the accelerometer, GPS and gyroscopes, including components yet to be introduced, the angle-shifting technology adjusts for least vulnerable impact angle based on the phone’s freefall trajectory, spin and angle of descent. The recently announced patent also accounts for ejection devices for cables and retractable air foils to control the angle of descent, both of which are a little more ways off.

Humankind will always have a population of clumsy members. There is nothing technology can do to prevent this population from dropping their cellphones. Apple, however, may have the software needed to slow the epidemic of spider webbing cell screens.

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