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Apple eyes patent for fall-detecting iPod

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, December 23, 2004
News Categories: iPod

Apple has applied for a patent on technology that would allow an iPod to detect when it is falling and then stop reading or writing to the hard drive, increasing the chance that its insides would survive the 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.”

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Comments

1

Cool, I actually have dropped my ipod about four times, and it didn’t even skip.

Posted by M Bargo in Chicago, IL on December 23, 2004 at 12:38 PM (PDT)

2

This would be nice raspberry

Posted by ipodman715 on December 23, 2004 at 12:40 PM (PDT)

3

I just dropped my iPod the other day.. it fell off my desk, onto my G5, and then onto the ground. Nothing changed - that thing is solid!

Posted by kainjow on December 23, 2004 at 12:49 PM (PDT)

4

now if they could just make the ipod out of a dent and scratch-resistant case, they’d be set…

Posted by StinkieDMB in Pittsburgh, PA on December 23, 2004 at 12:58 PM (PDT)

5

Just a thought, but might that mean that when you’re moving with your ipod, say jogging, that the ipod would stop playing for a bit because it stops reading the HD?

Posted by Jordan Burgess in England on December 23, 2004 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

6

First, the iPod only accesses the hard drive to load more music.  Depending on the model it has around 25 minutes of “buffer”.  It reads enough data to fill this buffer then shuts the hard drive down.  So you are only “in danger” during those times when the hard drive might be spun up to get more music.  So it would not quit playing while you were jogging.

Secondly, didn’t IBM already put something like this in their ThinkPad line?

Posted by AndyMac in Odessa, MO on December 23, 2004 at 1:29 PM (PDT)

7

IBM Thinkpad == prior art

Posted by phennphawcks on December 23, 2004 at 1:52 PM (PDT)

8

I reckon this is what we’ll be seeing on the 2G iPod mini. The mini is already aimed at people with more active or sporty lifestyles, and so by adding this in they’ll be able to market it as an mp3 that is great for sport.

Posted by iPodNod in London, UK on December 23, 2004 at 1:58 PM (PDT)

9

Yes, IBM does offer this in their ThinkPad line.

Seems like it may be a little harder to implememnt in the iPod…how does the device know the differnce from falling from your hip and when you’re just moving fast while being active with it.

It’s easy to tell when a laptop is falling…no one jogs with a laptop.

Good idea, but it’s a bit of overkill to me.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on December 23, 2004 at 6:25 PM (PDT)

10

The acceleration of falling will be greater than just running.

I would rather have a sturdy, waterproof, wear resistant case than pay for this. Fall detection won’t protect my iPod from say, rain or a spill while engaged in sports.

Posted by syciprider on December 24, 2004 at 1:54 AM (PDT)

11

can we get an iPod that doesn’t scratch so easily first, please?

Posted by dethbrakr in Tacoma, WA on December 24, 2004 at 3:25 PM (PDT)

12

IBM Thinkpad == prior art

By phennphawcks on Dec 23, 04 2:52 pm

not when this patent was FILED, Apple beat IBM by a few months.

Posted by hokka in Sydney on December 24, 2004 at 4:20 PM (PDT)

13

Hasn’t Sony used something like this in their NW-HD1 music player. It’s something called G-Sensor.

Posted by Skyliner34 on December 24, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

14

Hasn’t Sony used something like this in their NW-HD1 music player. It’s something called G-Sensor.

Posted by Skyliner34 on December 24, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

15

The thing I liked better about the 3G than the 4 was that there were no moving parts.  I think I’m getting dirt in the seam between the wheel and button in my 4G.

Posted by ultrarob in iowa on December 26, 2004 at 9:32 PM (PDT)

16

My girlfriend dropped her new IPOD mini on the sidewalk. The IPOD works fine but does any one have any idea how to get the scratches out of the metal case?Thanks

Posted by calatus on December 28, 2004 at 1:14 PM (PDT)

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