Amazon Airbag For Mobile Devices Patent Approved

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Amazon airbag patent that could help save smartphones and tablets from oblivion is approved by USPTO

Amazon has been awarded a patent for an airbag system for mobile devices that could make cracked screens a problem of the past.

CEO Jeff Bezos and Gregory Hart first made the application to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this year, but it has taken until now for its submission to be successful.

Amazon airbag patent

The patent covers “a method for protecting a portable device that includes an airbag deployable from a side of the portable device.” If the device, such as a smartphone or tablet is dropped, the system carries out a risk assessment to see if the potential damage sustained would exceed a threshold by using the inbuilt motion sensors.

If it believes that this threshold is likely to be exceeded, a protection system is activated that would “reduce or substantially eliminate damage to the device.” The system will then alter the orientation of the device so that the Amazon airbag hits the surface first before deploying.

It is unlikely that the Amazon airbag will be implemented in any immediate product and it is unclear whether it is even a workable solution, but it could be a lifeline for the most careless of users. Amazon released its first tablet in the UK earlier this year, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, as it seeks to compete in an increasingly croweded market with Google, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

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