We all know the slow-motion agony of watching your phone descend to the ground; that feeling of utter helplessness as it reaches its - literally - crushing destination. You reach out, with a faint sense of hope - 'perhaps I got lucky' - before noticing that crack. The crack that will grow and grow until your phone is useless.
But, fear not, as it seems Apple are taking steps to ensure that this sort of pain will never again befall you. A new patent application has revealed that they are working on a solution for those drops. Not, as you would expect, to make them stronger (although we're sure they're working on this too), but instead to change the way that they fall to the ground. And they're looking to our furry feline friends for inspiration.
The company is trying to develop a system that kicks in when the phone is dropped and rights itself mid-air, in order to fall on its back every time - just like cats always land on their feet. The idea is to harness a combination of gyroscopes, accelerometers and GPS to first detect when the phone is falling, then for these mechanisms to change its orientation. Perhaps even more far-fetchedly, the patent includes other methods of protection, including air-foil wings and air canisters that could help it land softly.
Now, if this works, we can only hope that the technology can then extend to other things we drop regularly, such as glasses, plates and babies.