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All you have to do is step outside and you’ll run the risk of seeing someone using a smartphone. By the end of 2010, almost 75 million Apple iPhones were sold, not counting any of the other smartphones made with the Android operating system. Considering that almost 4.6 billion people all over the world own a cell phone, the market for cell phone accessories is massive. Manufacturers make a number of holders, screens, shields, adapters and other accessories that cell phone owners buy on a regular basis.
Not to be outdone, Apple also has a number of products that can be used in conjunction with your iPhone. Surprisingly, one of their recent patent applications involves the development of a system that would protect your iPhone from damage with inflatables. According to an article on Geek.com, Apple is working on a shock mount that would detect potential damage and possibly inflate:
“Upon sensing a drop event the shock mount, in one given implementation, could fill, thus mitigating the damage to the thin glass screen. This shock mount would exist between the screen and the body, minimizing any impact and dampening shock to the delicate screen. It couldn’t necessarily have to be a large, inflatable pouch, just a piece that could transfer impact…”
Furthermore, Apple has also filed a patent wherein your phone would become its own protective device, featuring a liquid-filled bladder scheme:
“[The scheme] would actually inflate a mobile devices’ screen when the built in accelerometer detects a sudden drop. A bladder would fill with fluid from within the device and act as a shock-absorber, decelerating the device upon the event of an impact.”
Inflatables have been a major part of safety development among many industries. It’s safe to say that an inflatable system in case of a car crash is more important than protecting your iPhone, but it just goes to show how versatile inflatables actually are.