It looks like engineers over at Honda have been at the Sake, as apparently, boffins have developed a case for your smartphone which will help save it from damage during a normally catastrophic fall. How? By fitting little airbags into a case. It’s called the Honda Smartphone Case N, and it’s a bit mad.
We’re all familiar with airbags in cars, which are activated in the event of a collision, and unsurprisingly the airbags surrounding Honda’s phone work in the same way. Except instead of popping when you hit something, they inflate when the phone succumbs to the forces of gravity. According to Honda, an accelerometer trips when it detects the phone is falling, and within 0.2 of a second, a canister of carbon dioxide gas fills six different air bags, cushioning the phone’s fall.
Now, as you can see in the video – which is all in Japanese by the way, but you’ll still get the gist – the case is, well, a little unwieldy at the moment, and we’re pretty sure just encasing your phone in anything that size would protect it should it fall from your pocket. Plus, having recently seen the bill for replacing exploded airbags in a car (around half the total value of the vehicle), we wouldn’t want to trip Honda’s Case N by – if you’ll excuse the pun – accident. So, the concept is there, but the design still needs some work.
Except the concept probably won’t be refined, because the solemn video and the crazy airbag case appear to be little bits of fun, Honda style. So why has Honda’s come up with the Case N? It’s all in the name of promotion, as the website listed at the end of the video goes to a page dedicated to its brand new, super versatile “Kei” car, the N-WGN. A note under the video for the case clearly states, “This story is fiction.” Oh well.
Although the Case N probably won’t be going on sale anytime soon, it may not be that way forever, and if all the mechanics could be shrunk down to an acceptable size, or an alternative propulsion method perfected, it could potentially become reality. Honda’s not the first to come up with the idea either, as Sony patented a similar airbag system way back in 2007, while Amazon boss Jeff Bezos did the same in 2010. Perhaps if Honda gets a good enough response to the Case N, it’ll have a go at a more serious model too.