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Patent details new sensing technology to help self-repair your iPhone

Ever misplace your iPhone or iPad? Sometimes it can be tricky to keep tabs on your device, but if a recent patent submitted by Apple is a signal of the future, your Apple products will soon be keeping tabs on what you’re doing.

The patent filed by Apple details technology that allows the device to sense when a user is out of the room, or in a loud environment.

The intention behind the concept is for the iPhone or iPad to repair itself, or carry out maintenance at times that the user will not be disturbed by these processes.

The patent states that it will be: “A method and system for performing maintenance, repair and recalibration functions on a portable electronic device so as to be undetected by a user.”

In order to do this, it will sense when a user is away from the device or in an environment where the user will not be disturbed by certain processes.

So what will it do? Here’s a handful of key points from the document:

  • Moisture – water will be cleared from the iPhone’s speaker through a tone emitted by the smartphone. This technology would sense when a user might be in a loud environment before setting off the tone so the iPhone owner won’t be disturbed.
  • LED burn – users might have experienced dark pixels or burn lines on their display, but this technology will aim to fix or avoid this by cycling through colors and patterns – naturally, when the phone senses the user is away from the device, conversely, this maintenance would cease if a user picked the device up again.
  • Call/connection issues – the patent also aims for general maintenance to take place without disturbing the user.


The idea is that the regular exposing to water, wind, dust, shock and other interference that might usually lead to a visit to the Apple Store will be taken care of before its gets to that stage.

Whether this will make it into the next iteration of the iPhone, or if it will at all remains to be seen. It’s common for Apple to take out patents and then either not develop the technology, or present it in an entirely unexpected way. However, this is pretty exciting stuff, and will relieve the pressures both on the Genius Bar, and the time users may end up spending waiting for an appointment, or traveling to a store.

The patent is available to read online in full.