Apple iPhone 6 and iOS Devices to Feature Application Covering and Mechanical Shutters
By Precious Silva | May 30, 2014 12:32 PM EST
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent describing the use of a new active covering system. The technology protects sensitive acoustic parts like speakers and microphones from impact or damage. With the iPhone 6 still a few months away along with other iOS devices, the patent may find its way to the products in time for their release.
The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.
When tech manufacturers update their smatphone technologies, they also upgrade their internal components. To match the advancing technology, Apple has obtained a patent upgrading small handset components like acoustic emitters and sensors. Although foam and mesh grilles appear to do the trick now, upcoming smartphones require more than the current measures.
The patent entitled "Active protection for acoustic device" (via Apple Insider) refers to a mechanical system that recognizes input from internal measurement devices and motion sensors to manage valve or shutter that blocks the passage through the acoustic components. So long as the passage is close, the device's sensitive acoustic components remain protected from air bursts, pressure changes and other shock treats.
According to the patent, acoustic components may refer to speakers and microphones found on the front of the device as well as those underneath like configurations for iPhone. The acoustic passage described can also help resonate or amplifying audio waves to and fro. Apple's take on the system works with onboard sensors like gyroscope or accelerometer to determine incoming shock or fall.
It also appears Apple has been focusing on turning its devices more shock proof as it obtained another patent describing the use of a special construction process involving sapphire glass displays and liquidmetal. Liquidmetal is an exotic metal that appears like liquid but acts like molten plastic. The patent describes a system where Apple uses the liquidemtal to stabilize the sapphire glass displays. This will prevent the glass from popping off or shattering at once when impact hits the device.
Apple patents may or not may not find their way to upcoming Apple products. The timeframe before the release still makes it possible for Apple to include the discussed patents. Apple will still need to make a final announcement about the features of its upcoming devices.
To contact the editor, e-mail: