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Amazon CEO files patent for cellphone airbag system

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Fri August 12, 2011

Devices protected with propulsion, springs

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos and vice president Greg Hart have submitted a patent filing for "a system and method for protecting devices from impact damage." The inventors have stepped well beyond simple rubber cases, however, as the filing describes a number of advanced methods, such as airbags, that are designed to actively minimize damage from an accidental slip.

Many of the potential embodiments take advantage of sensors such as gyroscopes, cameras, infrared beams, or radar. The device would user sensor input to determine spatial orientation and velocity in the event of a fall.

After the system establishes the need to protect the device, the patent filing describes several methods for cushioning impact. Carbon dioxide canisters could quickly inflate an airbag, or mimic thrusters used by satellites to reorient the device or decelerate it before landing. Simpler embodiments describe spring deployment to absorb shock.

It remains unclear if any of the cushioning technology will make its way into production technology. [via GeekWire]

by MacNN Staff



  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Are tech journalists so stupid that they can't tell when they're being played? These are obviously ridiculous patent applications to highlight how gullible the press is. I know! I'm going to apply for a patent for the same thing only it will use antigravity to keep the iPhone from crashing to the ground!!!

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you drop your cell phone upside-down does the CO2 thrust it into the ground at 200mph?

    I thought I saw prior art in some James Bond or Vin Diesel film where the guy does a freefall and a big balloon envelops him before he hits the ground.

    How about making the case out of a superconductor so it could be charged by your body and it would float jut above the ground if dropped. Though it may be annoying if you go to grab your phone and it just jumps away from you. Maybe I could just license the patent for a suction cup dart with a string attached.

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