Smartphone airbags could make 'cracked screens' a thing of the past
It can cost you a lot if your mobilephone screen cracks after you accidentally dropped it, but help is at hand.
Amazon has invented an airbag for smartphones.
The innovative technology makes use of the motion-sensors that are now built into most smartphones to detect when it has entered an airborne state, so that a mini-airbag can be deployed to cushion its fall.
Amazon has won a patent for the protective system this week. As well as mobile phones, the technology could be used on electronic readers, including the online retailer's own Kindle, as well as computer tablets and cameras.
Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, filed the application for a patent himself.
The application reads "Prior to impact between a surface and a device, a determination of a risk of damage to the device is made. If the risk of damage to the device exceeds a threshold, a protection system is activated to reduce or eliminate damage to the device."
The airbag would draw on data from a mobile phone's built-in gyroscope, camera, accelerometers and other such sensors, according to the patent.
Then, if it is determined that the gadget has been dropped, the technology will trigger the release of airbags and could even include air-jets to change its trajectory in mid-air.