Broken smartphone displays cost consumers a huge amount money and cause them great inconvenience because they have to send their device back to the manufacturer. Therefore, anything that can help the situation would be welcomed with open arms !
A new patent filed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has highlighted one potential solution to the problem. The patent , spotted by The Telegraph, relates to the use of airbags in smartphones which might seem a little over the top and expensive. However, the more you think about it the more reasonable such a solution becomes.
Essentially, the smartphone would be fitted with an airbag which would activate when the mobile was hurtling towards the floor. But how does it know when its been dropped we hear you ask. Well, the airbag would be linked up to the smartphones software and would take advantage of the mobiles sensors , such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, to detect when the smartphone is in free-fall.
The patent even takes things a step further and suggests that air-jets could be used to change the smartphones trajectory mid-fall. The technology wouldn't be limited to mobiles and could be used in other electrical devices.
3G wonders what happens once the airbag has been deployed. For example, can it be re-used and would your smartphone be under-warranty if your air-bag failed to deploy. We're also wondering whether a small parachute might be a cheaper and more elegant solution for minimising , if not eradicating, damage to touch-screens.
By Simon Thomas on 19th December, 2012