Is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) developing technology to make you sure you can drop your iPhone and not worry about it? The company has been awarded a patent for a shock-absorbing rubber coating that helps protect fragile components such as the glass display of the iPhone or the iPad. The technology in the patent filing describes a “boundary element” that can deform in response to impact.
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The patent application for Viscoelastic Material for Shock Protection in an Electronic Device was officially approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, according to AppleInsider, which means it’s unlikely to be incorporated into the iPhone 5, expected this September, but could make an appearance in later models.
First filed in 2008, the application describes placing viscoelastic materials, which are designed to absorb some of the impact if the device is dropped or hit, around certain components. In the case of the iPhone, a thin rubber bezel would rest between the Corning (NYSE:GLW) Gorilla Glass display and the exterior bezel, providing a tight seal and flush appearance to the front of the device.
The perfect material will have dominant elastic properties in a “large impact scenario,” such as the phone being dropped from a height, while its viscous properties would come into play in a “small impact scenario” for milder injuries.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed higher 59 cents at $663.22 per share on Friday.