Apple patent application reveals protecting shock-absorbing floaties inside retractable iPhone bumper

“As a result of continued research into device protection technologies, Apple has developed an automated bumper system that doubles as a floatation device, protecting iPhones from drops and large bodies of water,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple’s application for an “Electronic device housing” details an iPhone security system that automatically deploys protective shock absorbers when onboard sensors detect a potential impact,” Campbell reports. “The claims are similar those offered in a separate Apple invention revealed last month describing an automated screen protector, but employ cushions made from a buoyant material instead of retractable tabs.”

“When a free fall is detected, the system triggers spring loaded shock absorbers that shoot out from the device housing. Depending on the implementation, bumper cushions made of foam, plastic, rubber or other suitable material are integrated with the shock absorber mechanism to slide out on specialized support rods,” Campbell reports. “Because they are buoyant, the bumper cushions also serve as a precautionary measure against accidents involving water or other liquids.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone toilet dunkers rejoice (potentially, someday)!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Just make the body out of Liquid Metal and sprinkle some fineLiquid Metal dust into the molten screen glass and forget about airbags for the iPhone. Throw it around like a builder throws around his drill and it’ll not show any scratch.

  2. If these bumpers are buoyant, how does changing their position by a spring loaded mechanism affect the overall buoyancy of the device? The device would be equally buoyant whether the bumpers were triggered or not.

    I also wonder whether bumpers as small as those shown in the illustration would offer sufficient buoyancy to allow an iPhone to float?

    When space within an iPhone is already t a premium and used very efficiently, it seems unlikely that four of these mechanisms would be built into an iPhone.

  3. Is the kid pictured in the source article taking a pee on the sidewalk? No wonder he dropped is iPhone. It takes two hands to handle the…. Never mind.

    This patent brings to mind the following verbal exchange from Monty Python:

    Inspector: (continuing) And what is this one: Spring Surprise?

    Mr. Hilton: Ah, that’s one of our specialities. Covered in dark, velvety chocolate, when you pop it into your mouth, stainless steel bolts spring out and plunge straight through both cheeks.

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