Apple May Crowdsource iPhone Damage Data to Make Future Screens More Resistant to Cracks

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    Cases of cracked iPhone screens are certainly nothing new, and occur often enough to have earned a separate service fee in Apple's AppleCare+ program. According to one study, half of mobile users globally have experienced at least one cracked smartphone screen in their lifetime, and at least 21 percent of smartphone owners currently have a cracked screen.

    Presumably with this in mind, Apple is currently exploring technology that can detect when an iPhone screen has suffered damage and alert the user early, even if the break is a hairline crack, which may allow the company to come up with better design solutions in the future.

    [​IMG]

    The system appears in a patent published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, called "Coverglass fracture detection", which describes an integrated network of sensors and software that can detect the formation of cracks in a protective display cover.

    In one example, the invention detects breaches in the touch sensor substrate embedded in the device display. In another, piezoelectric actuators send out vibrations and detect defects by analyzing the response. In yet another instance, strategically positioned emitters shoot out pulses of light through a series of prisms, to eventually reach sensors located on the other end of the display. Measurements then detect anomalies in the travel of light in order to identify micro-fissures in the screen.

    The invention is described as being capable of distinguishing between hairline cracks and spiderweb cracks, and even capable of measuring fracture depth, length, width, and expansion rate, with proximity and orientation sensors also recruited into the system to detect falls. User notifications can include pinpointing the area of damage to the screen, as well as alerts about ancillary damage to internal components caused by the impact.

    In some embodiments, the user is asked to confirm the location of cracks onscreen by circling the area with their finger. The diagnostic information is then corralled to generate a timeline of events leading up to the crack, which may be useful during repair work. The ensuing data may also be used by Apple to understand how and when cracks most commonly occur, allowing designers to create displays more resistant to breaks.

    (via AppleInsider.)

    Article Link: Apple May Crowdsource iPhone Damage Data to Make Future Screens More Resistant to Cracks
     
  2. Col4bin macrumors 68000

    Col4bin

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    #2
    How about the easily chipped or scratched chassis, too?
     
  3. MrGimper macrumors 68040

    MrGimper

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    #3
    Presumably with this in mind, Apple is currently exploring technology that can detect when an iPhone screen has suffered damage and alert the user

    Wouldn't your eyes be the best method of detecting cracks in the screen?
     
  4. Telos101 macrumors regular

    Telos101

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    #4
    Not all cracks are perceptible to the eye, I'd imagine. Micro-fissures etc, which take time to propagate and turn into something more visible and nasty.
     
  5. jaymie1983 macrumors member

    jaymie1983

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    #5
    In today's world, I wouldn't trust Apple not to disable the phone (except emergency calls) due to the likelihood of someone trying to sue for injury caused by the damaged glass, just saying the blame culture is out there like
     
  6. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    #6
    Now, this is clever thinking by Apple.

    Anonymize the data, gather the evidence, provide customers with an awesome solution.

    Well done.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 16, 2017 ---
    Broken glass shouldn't cut users, anything else is a fail. It's possible to get glass that breaks safely and Apple should be using it.
     
  7. michelb76 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    This is also a nice way to increase repair revenue, instilling a bit of fear.
    Although I see many people walk around with horribly broken screens continuing to use them to avoid repair costs. Still, if this increases even a single-digit percentage of screen repairs that is easy money..
     
  8. alvesik macrumors member

    alvesik

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    #8
    Why'd you get sued?
     
  9. Scottsoapbox macrumors regular

    Scottsoapbox

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    #9
    We had to remove the headphone jack so we could fit the specialized sensors to tell you when your screen is cracked... :rolleyes:
     
  10. Speedy Dingo macrumors regular

    Speedy Dingo

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    #10
    The real invention should be self-repairing screens. :p
     
  11. MacDarcy macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Hey apple. How bout just making a screen that DOESN'T crack? Hmm?
     
  12. alvesik macrumors member

    alvesik

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    #12
    Seriously? Go make me a lithium ion battery that doesn't die
     
  13. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a

    naeS1Sean

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    #13
    They probably should have considered this area a while ago. Slow as molasses.
     
  14. ovo6 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Lol apple sees everything coming they know a all glass design with break so easily
     
  15. alleggerita macrumors 6502

    alleggerita

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    #15
    Why not implement a sensor to detect if user is sick and tired of iPhone and planning a switch over to Samsung? Prevent lost sales.
     
  16. 69Mustang macrumors 601

    69Mustang

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    #16
    Hey MacDarcy. How bout just making a comment that ACTUALLY makes sense? Hmm?:rolleyes:
    Just messin' witcha. :p:D
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #17
    Go ahead and rewrite the laws of physics, we'll wait.

    :rolleyes:
     
  18. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #18
    They're probably experimenting with this because tiny cracks + Force Touch = risk of bigger cracks
     
  19. Dancerdudes macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2017
    #19
    It's most likely for AppleCare over the phone to ask the customer where there is damage, for express replacement or service options.

    When you call AppleCare, they can't see the damage to know how bad it is.

    Just another diagnostic tool for them....
     
  20. toph2toast macrumors 6502

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    #21
    This gave me a good laugh, thanks for that :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 16, 2017 ---
    Maybe it was considered before, but the technology wasn't there yet? Not sure of another consumer electronic company that does this, so how are they "slow as molasses"?
     
  21. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a

    naeS1Sean

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    #22
    Perhaps. They are just a very (often annoyingly) slow-to-act company. I'm sure you know that.
     
  22. toph2toast macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Oh I can't disagree with you on that!
     
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #24
    Maybe just in the areas you happen to care about. I've been amazed by their remarkable advancements in chip design over the last few years.
     
  24. JM macrumors 6502

    JM

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    #25
    Yeah, or: it's an elegant way to deny payment on service claims
     

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