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Google has a novel idea to help avoid broken smartphones

Phone manufacturers are increasingly looking at how they can make their handsets tougher and more durable so they don't break so easily, although Google is exploring a different angle – namely how to make sure that a smartphone is less likely to be dropped in the first place.

Simple slips and butterfingers incidents where the phone hits a hard surface from something of a height are generally how screens end up being cracked, or worse damage done, and a new patent from Google is exploring making a handset more ‘grippable’.

The patent, spotted by Patently Mobile (via Digital Trends), shows a different kind of chassis with several ideas including fingertip shaped grooves cut deep into the rear casing, or ridged edges again for better grip, and less chance of slippage.

The side-effect is these concept designs do rather make the phone look like it’s been attacked by a rabid Pac-Man, with chunks bitten out of it. And we’re not sure this is the future of the smartphone, when most companies are still focused on sleek and slim aesthetics, and generally making a handset look as premium as possible. This is definitely not a premium look…

Still, you never know what the future holds, but just because this has been patented doesn’t mean the idea will ever see the light. Most companies patent a ton of ideas they never use, just in case.

The obvious route is simply to make phones more and more durable in general, although that too has to be balanced against the quest for slim handsets.

Image Credit: Patently Mobile