Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and VP Greg Heart believe they have the answer to reducing the amount of damage caused when you drop your phone in the future with filing a patent for a damage avoidance system that uses mini-airbags and jets of gas to better protect your mobile should it unintentionally strike a surface. It starts with a safety monitoring system that would use a gyroscope, camera, infrared beam, radar or other sensors to detect such things as motion, orientation and distance from other objects, then determine in a split second if the device is at risk of damage from impact and if the device is at risk of damage from a fall, the airbags would instantly inflate via an embedded cartridge of compressed air or carbon dioxide…………..
A patent filed by Jeff Bezos and Amazon VP Greg Heart suggests using a phone’s accelerometer to detect when it is falling and deploying tiny airbags to cushion the impact. The patent application was filed in February, but only just made public and remains some way off from being awarded. It was noticed by Geekwire, who spotted the names of Amazon’s CEO and VP listed as inventors, presumably in the expectation that eventually someone will decide to deploy in-phone airbags and thus have to hand over licence fees. In the process of establishing risk, the patent doesn’t limit itself to acceleration, but also suggests that a laser rangefinder might be able to judge the speed of an approaching ground while the surface of the phone could detect if it was safely nestled in a bag or falling alone through an uncaring sky. But speed and distance aren’t everything, you also need to know if the approaching surface is a comfy duvet or an unforgiving tarmac road. Here the handset might like to use X-rays or old-fashioned radar to establish the overall risk to its wellbeing, before deciding whether to deploy the jets and airbags.