Skip to main content

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos patents a mini-airbag for your phone

airbag patentThe smartphone has basically become an extension of ourselves–which is why it’s so devastating when little more than a two foot fall can destroy it. And now you can thank Jeff Bezos for keeping your precious device that much safer: The Amazon CEO, along with the company’s VP Greg Heart, has filed a patent to outfit smartphones and other handheld electronics with airbags. Geekwire first noticed the document, which explains that one out of three cell phones are lost or damaged within the first year of use. And the two Amazon execs want to do something about it.

Called a “damage avoidance system,” your device would detect it was falling and approximate the distance between it and the ground, and calculate its own velocity. This is more or less how car airbags function, so that a vehicle can determine when and when not to deploy airbags. A light fender bender won’t activate the safety instruments, but the impact from a more serious collision will. Using this same idea, your gadgets would use the data collected during a fall to conclude the risk in hitting the approaching surface, and if the risk is great enough, deploy airbags.

This monitoring system would likely be based on a smartphone’s gyroscope or some other built-in sensor. It would also be able to establish what side the phone was going to fall on, and activate the respective airbags. Sounds pretty intense for a pocket-sized product, but as the patent puts it, smartphone damages and repairs are pricey.

The patent just surfaced but was filed in February, possibly around when Amazon was putting its Android ecosystem plans into action. The company is getting into the gadget business and is speculated to be releasing two to three tablets in the near future. Looks like Bezos has mobile on the brain. The idea might sound a little outlandish, but in the interest of protecting your intellectual property (which is obviously becoming more and more important as patent wars heat up), it’s smart to put your name on any notion that seems like even a slight possibility.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
These foldable phones just got unexpected price cuts at Amazon
The Samsung Galazy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3.

Foldable smartphones are all the rage right now, but because they don't come cheap, shoppers are always checking if their prices are reduced in smartphone deals and Samsung Galaxy deals. These mobile devices are becoming more durable and reliable with every release, and now is a good time to invest in a foldable smartphone from the likes of Microsoft and Samsung.

Amazon has surprised everyone with sudden price cuts for three foldable smartphones, perhaps related to Apple's announcements of the iPhone 13, among other new products, at its California Streaming event. The 128GB Microsoft Surface Duo's price was slashed by $286, bringing its price down to $413 from its original price of $699, while the 128GB Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is available for $925, after a $75 discount to its original price of $1,000. The 256GB version of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, meanwhile, is cheaper by $200, which lowers its price to $1,600 from its original price of $1,800.
Microsoft Surface Duo (128GB) – $413, was $699

Read more
Amazon is having a secret tech sale today — here are the best deals to shop
iPad air sitting on table.

Amazon, a reliable source for discounts on all kinds of devices, appears to be holding a secret tech sale today because of the variety of offers that are currently available. If you look at the retailer's website, you'll find all sorts of smartphone deals, tablet deals such as iPad deals, and laptop deals, among many other deals that you wouldn't want to miss.

It's unclear how long the discounts will last, so if there's a deal that catches your eye, you shouldn't hesitate on finalizing your purchase as there's no assurance that it will still be available once you get back to it. There are a daunting numbers of tech deals that you can shop on Amazon today, so to help you out, we've rounded up some of the best offers.
Fire TV Stick 4K – $35, was $50

Read more
This Amazon Fire Tablet is practically free at Staples today
The Amazon Fire 7 tablet, viewed from the front and the back, with apps displayed on the screen.

When you're looking for tablet deals, you'll likely see iPad deals and Samsung Galaxy Tab deals, but these devices are too advanced and expensive if you're specifically looking for kids tablet deals. Amazon, known among e-book enthusiasts for its Kindle deals, is also offering durable and affordable tablet alternatives like the Amazon Fire 7, which is currently available on Staples for just $40 after a $10 discount that made it even cheaper than its original price of $50.

The Amazon Fire 7 isn't as powerful as Digital Trends' best tablets, but for its very cheap price, it's a decent device. Powered by a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, the tablet has no trouble with functions such as browsing the internet, accessing streaming services, and launching apps, all on a 7-inch display that's crisp and vivid. It also features Alexa integration, so you can issue voice commands to the digital assistant through the Amazon Fire 7.

Read more