According to a recent patent, Apple would seek to develop a technology capable of closing a folding smartphone or retracting its screen from a roller in the event of an imminent fall. A document that even evokes a third hypothetical option: separating a folding screen in two.
Apple continues to explore avenues for its next foldable or rollable products. Rumors about the next iPhone or iPad in these formats have been multiplying for several years, based in particular on the patents filed by the manufacturer.
But the multinational is waiting, probably trying to find a way to stand out as much as possible before embarking on a new market. Seen by news site appleinsider, a new Apple patent published on Thursday March 16 seems to follow this strategy. “Self Retracting Display Device and Fall Detection Screen Protection Techniques“, we read as title.
Automatically retract the screen
You got it right: Apple is looking to develop a technology that allows future foldable or rollable smartphones to work automatically.”bend or retract at least partiallyif they feel like they are about to crash into the ground. Because the advantage of this type of device is also its disadvantage: its state-of-the-art technology is also more fragile when faced with the ups and downs of everyday life.
Specifically, a future iPhone or iPad could therefore detect if the speed “vertical acceleration» of the smartphone exceeds the value set by Apple to close or retract the smartphone screen thanks to a built-in motor. A technology already present in the offer of smartphones a motorized “pop-up” camera, which also retracts in the event of a fall detection.
Separate the two halves of the screen.
Problem: Compared to a small camera module, fully closing the two halves of a large foldable smartphone or retracting a roll-up screen can take longer than the drop itself. However, in its patent, Apple claims that even if the phone is only partially closed, hitting the edges of the screen is less risky than a flat impact.
In addition, the Cupertino company imagines a technology that allows a foldable smartphone to be protected even more quickly by separating the two halves of the screen. An infographic in the patent explains that this technology could “activate a release mechanism on a hinge that connects the first screen and the second screen of an electronic deviceat the time of the fall.
According to a diagram in the patent, the two halves could remain connected for the rest of the smartphone, but the two slabs could move separately.
A technology that remains hypothetical
This opens the possibility of an iPhone or iPad with two screens joined by a hinge, a kind of Microsoft Surface Duo in addition to development. However, the technologies detailed by this patent remain experimental ideas. As with many patents, they may never see the light of day in a commercialized product.
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