Apple Computer is eyeing a technology that could make the iPod more likely to survive a fall.
The company has applied for a patent on technology that would allow a portable media player to detect when it is falling and then stop reading or writing to the hard drive. Such technology would work by detecting the acceleration that accompanies a drop.
"The portable-computing device protects its disk drive by monitoring for such accelerations and operating to avoid usage of the disk drive during periods of acceleration," Apple said in the patent application, which was published Dec. 16. "Through such protection, the likelihood of damage to the disk drive or loss of data stored on the disk drive is able to be substantially reduced."
Oh dear, I guess nobody told them that IBM already have a patent on this technology, straight from IBM's mouth:
"IBM's patented hard drive protection technology helps protect people's data. The IBM Active Protection System, similar to the technology used in automobiles to deploy airbags, uses a microchip on the system board to detect system acceleration (such as in a fall) and responds by temporarily parking the drive's read/write head. This rapid response can help prevent some hard drive crashes that occur in some falls, helping to prevent total data loss and ultimately reduce downtime and warranty costs."
What's up Apple? Can't you afford real advertising?