from the urls-we-dig-up dept
One of the first things many people do when they get a shiny new smartphone is put a case and a screen protector on it. Some people do this because they want to customize the look of their phone, but others just want to protect the phone from the inevitable drop on concrete that’ll put an annoying scratch (or worse) on the screen. A few folks prefer naked phones, and for those users, there may be some nifty ways to keep phones scratch & dent free in the future. Here are just a few examples.
- Apple has a patent on a way to get a phone to fall like a cat — so that it tries to land screen side up to minimize damage. Patent 8,903,519 describes ways to alter the center of mass of a device by using positioning sensors to control motors that could adjust the angular momentum of a phone in freefall. [url]
- Jeff Bezos also has a patent on a way to protect a falling phone — using a kind of airbag system. Future phones might also include tiny canisters of compressed gases to provide a bit of thrust that might allow the device to land more gently — if manufacturers license US8330305 or wait until it expires. [url]
- Maybe someday we’ll just get sapphire displays that would take a diamond to scratch such a screen. However, it might be a bit difficult to get sapphire that’s both scratch resistant AND tough enough not to shatter upon a hard impact. It’s not easy to make sapphire screens economically, either. [url]
- Until then, maybe Corning’s new tougher Gorilla Glass 4 will be good enough. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 4 can survive drops onto rough surfaces (such as sidewalks) up to 80% of the time. It’s also one-tenth the cost of sapphire, almost two times lighter, and more transparent. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.