Amazon plans airbag for smartphones

Does an airbag for a smartphone sound like a ridiculous idea? Not according to Amazon, which plans to create such a thing in the fairly near future.

This isn't just some minor project either. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, filed the application for a patent himself, which plans to use the motion-sensors in a smartphones to detect when it has entered an 'airborne state'. When it has, a mini-airbag and air-jets can be deployed to break that fall.

Or as the patent reads: '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.'

It all sounds a bit 'James Bond', but the logic behind it can't really be faulted. Millions are spent on phone repairs every year, so a solution to save a phone (and especially the screen) will be greeted with open arms by phone-obsessed consumers. Perhaps not so mobile phone insurance sellers.

But it will cost money to get one - and it might not be cheap. The alternative is to send off the repair, which will leave you without a phone for a good period of time.

Itai Tomer, Director of Product Management at Cellebrite, claims there is another way: 'There is huge demand for these products because it typically takes three days for a mobile retailer to fix a broken phone. That period of time is hard-going for many, particularly now that the average smartphone has a music player, camera, diary, and email, as well as the usual phone functions.'

'Instead of forcing consumers to spend more of their money on products to protect their phones against fault, retailers should adopt technology that allows them to diagnose and repair broken phones quickly and easily in store.  The consumer doesn’t have to go without their phone and therefore isn’t inconvenienced and the retailer pleases the customer. It’s win win. This equipment is now available in the UK to retailers and is already used widely in the US.'

That could well be true. But it doesn't sound as cool as a mobile phone airbag, which might well become as much of a toy as a way of saving your pride and joy. We'll find out when Amazon unleashes the finished product.

Source: Daily Telegraph

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