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December 17, 2012

New smartphone airbag could protect screens from cracking

The new technology could also be deployed on electronic readers as well as computer tablets and cameras

By CBR Staff Writer

Online retailer Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has bagged a patent for an airbag system that could protect gadgets such as smartphones from cracking when dropped.

The new technology uses motion-sensors, which are already incorporated into most smartphones, to detect when it is falling through the air, so that a mini-airbag can be deployed to cushion its drop.

If a gadget is dropped, the airbag will use of data from devices’s gyroscope, camera, accelerometres and other such sensors to trigger the release of airbags. Air jets will assist in changing its trajectory in mid-air, to stop it landing on its screen, the Daily Mail reported.

In addition to mobile phones, the new technology could also be deployed on e-readers, including the Amazon’s own Kindle, as well as computer tablets and cameras.

Jeff Bezos, who filed the patent application, said: "Prior to impact between a surface and a device, a determination of a risk of damage to the device is made. If the risk of damage to the device exceeds a threshold, a protection system is activated to reduce or eliminate damage to the device."

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