Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Invents Mini-Airbags for Smartphones

 @ibtimes
on August 13 2011 3:53 PM

A patent filing made public Friday morning by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a new mobile phone safety feature that would deploy tiny airbags if you drop your cell phone.

According to the patent filing, which was submitted in February, tiny airbags would be deployed from the phone if the in-built accelerometer detected that was falling.

The patent submitted by the Amazon boss also suggests using a laser or even radar to determine the distance between the phone and the ground.

Other suggestions for protecting a falling phone include springs that would be released from the casing to ensure that the phone safely bounced on hitting the ground.

The patent, which has not yet been granted, application also suggests thata gyroscope or jets of compressed air could be used to alter the angle of the device in the air.

The system includes laser or radar to determine the distance between the device and the surface, where it’s about to hit.

The mechanism also detects if the risk of damage to the phone exceeds the damage threshold, directing the phone in such a way that the air bag hits the surface first, deploying the airbags before the impact.

The system will also come loaded with a spring to ease the fall ensuring that the device bounces back on hitting the ground.

Bezos, 47, who started Amazon in 1994, and Greg Heart, vice president for Amazon, told reporters that the mobile safety invention can save money for customers because most of the insurance plans do not cover the charges for dropped phones and breakage.

The application for the patent read: “a system for protecting a portable device, comprising: a device safety monitoring system configured to detect a risk of damage to the portable device from impacting a surface; a protection element operable to reduce the risk of damage to the portable device caused by the impact with the surface; an orientation detector, operable to detect an orientation of the portable device; and a reorientation element, operable to modify the orientation of the portable device such that the protection element first impacts the surface."

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