It must be nice being an enormous millionaire like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Maybe it affords free time to sit and cook up strange, fascinating patents like this one: tiny, tiny little smartphone airbags. They're cute! Does this make sense?
The patent, in dry patent-talk, is the following:
A method for protecting a portable device that includes an airbag deployable from a side of the portable device, comprising: detecting that the portable device will impact a surface; prior to impact with the surface, determining if a risk of damage to the portable device from the impact exceeds a damage threshold; when the risk of damage to the portable device exceeds the damage threshold: altering the orientation of the portable device such that the air bag first impacts the surface; and deploying the airbag prior to impact with the surface.
In person-talk, this means a case for your phone that would use its accelerometer to detect falls, and then deploy small airbags to cushion the drop. But it gets even crazier!
What would be wackier than tiny, tiny airbags on a smartphone? How about tiny gas jets that flip the phone onto a padded side? Sure, why not!
Bezos, if you can explain how this would work without having to use a giant phone that had room for a compressed airbag and gas canisters, I will buy into your vision of the safe smartphone future. [USPTO, Register, via Engadget]