My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Amazon patents Fall Prevention Technology for smartphones and Tablets - The Research begins with Amazon’s patent that’s Hyde Park on Hudson


Friday, December 21, 2012

Amazon patents Fall Prevention Technology for smartphones and Tablets - The Research begins with Amazon’s patent that’s Hyde Park on Hudson

Back in August 2011, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos filed a rather bizarre patent for an airbag for smartphones and Tablets as described in the article “Amazon's Bezos files patent for Phone Air Bag”, published August 12, 2011 12:39 PM PDT by Jay Greene, CNET News and “Amazon's Bezos envisions airbag phone, files patent”, published August 14, 2011 by Nancy Owano, PhysOrg. As silly as the idea sounded back then, it now has merit; these gadgets are expensive, costing as much as a PC up in the JA$50,000 range.
They’re in need of protection from falling; apparently innovators like Apple aren’t too into that, as Apple iPhones and Apple iPads “haffi mash up” for persons to continue buying new products each year and for the Technicians to “eat a food”.

But it’s patents, licensing and insurance that’ll make the money for Amazon, should this product make the light of day. Not to mention a reduced need to replace Amazon Kindle Fire HD Tablets broken from “accidental” falls. Currently there’s no way to prove the customer isn’t abusing Amazon Replacement Policy by trying to “pull a fast one’ on Amazon. After all, shouldn’t you have some form of protection in case of damage to your Tablet due to falls, both over dry land or over a body of water, for BOTH the customer and Amazon?

Insurance against Data Loss is as simple as executing a Daily and Weekly Backup of your Data as described in my Geezam Blog article entitled “How to transfer Phone Contacts and Data from your Blackberry to your Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone or Tablet” allows you to bounce back and get on with your life after the death or theft of your phone. But it’s expensive, costly and your new phone just ain’t the same.

So what about technology to break a fall? If cars have airbags and seatbelts and US Fighter Pilots have Parachutes, why not your smartphone or Tablet?
These questions as well as the issue of insurance for what may be a significant investment in time and money may have weighed in on the US Patent Office who eventually granted Amazon the patent for this unique and offbeat idea as stated in “Amazon wins its insane gadget-airbag patent”, published December 11, 2012 4:14 PM PST by Josh Lowensohn, CNET News and “Forget 4G and GPS; future phones could have airbags!”, published August 12, 2011 - 9:00AM PT By Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM.

A much needed patent as smartphone screens are set to hit the 5” mark by 2013 as reported in in my blog article entitled “SHARP and JDI making 5-inch 1080p Smartphone Screens -  Here Comes the Boom  as 1080p Screens, Quad-Core the next Big Thing for Apple iPhone”, albeit it by 2015, I’m predicting they’ll shrink back down to feature phone size. More on that prediction in an article coming on the Geezam Blog!

So the logic behind having Fall Protection for your Smartphone and Tablet aside, how would such Fall Prevention Technology aka Jeff Bezos’ Airbag for smartphones or Tablets work?

Based on the Patent filing, the system would be built into reusable cases for smartphones and Tablets. The principle behind its function is no different from an airbag in a car and uses the following sensors that are now standard on all smartphones and Tablets:

1.      Gyroscope
2.      Internal Chronometer
3.      Magnetometer
4.      Accelerometer
5.      GPS
6.      Camera

Based on the Data processed from the above standard inputs, the following can be ascertained:

1.      The point of flight and in free-fall in three dimensional space
2.      When the gadget went into free-fall
3.      Where in terms of location and position in three dimensional space the gadget went into free-fall
4.      Direction of the fall under accelerating due to gravity, i.e. if straight down or in a curve or if thrown up and then falling
5.      If the fall is taking place over dry land or over a body of water
6.      Reason for the Fall; this is of greatest interest to insurance companies, Telecom Providers and companies like Amazon who have to foot the bill to repair or replace the gadget

At that point it would then do of the following based on the above Data:

1.      Bi-chemicals reactions would create a non-flammable Gas that would be used to create Gas jets, reorienting the gadget in such a ways as to minimize a fall. This would be for a fall from a distance below 4 feet
2.      Bi-chemicals reactions would create a non-flammable Gas that would be used to rapidly inflate compressed airbags at the sides of the gadget. This would envelope the gadget with an airbag or even rubberized foam if the fall’s detected to be over a body of water. This would be for a fall from a distance above 4 feet to 6 feet
3.      Bi-chemicals reactions would create a non-flammable Gas that would be used to rapidly deploy a parachute or flotation device in case of fall into a body of water i.e. river of the sea, thereby creating drag and slowing down the fall of the gadget. This would be for a fall above 6 feet
4.      Send Data during or after the fall to an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Server viewable by the customer post-fall on a Cloud-Based platform regarding all the details of the fall. This can serve as a record that the user as well as Amazon can peruse at their leisure with regards to reasons for the fall and what to do to prevent it in the future

Again, albeit this sounds a bit silly, it’s a sound idea that needs refining. If it’s possible to fit such a large airbag into a car’s steering wheel without adding any significant bulk, also a significant investment on the part of the owner to protect your life in the event of a crash, how difficult can it be for a smartphone or Tablet Case?

Mums the word from Amazon on whether this’ll make it into any of their Case Designs for the Amazon Kindle Fire. Right now Amazon Kindle Fire HD series of Tablets are red hot must-have stocking stuffers this Christmas as predicted in my blog article entitled “Amazon launches a pair of Kindle Fire 2 - ACS-Xerox Call Centers in Jamaica ramp up as Kindle Fire begin to Sparkle”.

One thing is certain; the real money’s in patents, licensing and insurance should Amazon successfully develop such a Fall Prevention Technology for its line of Tablets and possibly smartphones in the future in its line of cases without adding bulk. With 2013 looking to be the Year of the Mobile Computing as it slowly poisons and kills off the PC, Printing and Console Gaming as concluded in my Geezam blog article entitled “How the Apple iPad killed Ultrabooks, Printing and the Mouse as the World Rediscovers Tablets” insurance premiums to ensure these breakable screens’ll go up for sure.

Thus having airbags in the cases for your smartphone or Tablet, just like making a Backup of your smartphone or Tablets Data is one sure way to reduce or even eliminate the cost of insuring your “precious” with which you spend so much time, a plus for consumers. Amazon stands to make even more money licensing the Fall Prevention Technology for use in Third Party Case makers for not only smartphones and Tablets but potentially for any gadget that costs a lot and is too expensive to ensure.  

But the immediate benefit is in reducing false claims for accidental crack due to falls or “dunking” in water. Amazon merely has to make it mandatory that the Fall Prevention Technology built into its cases and be in use at the time of the fall on land or in a body of water. If the incident occurs without the gadget having a case with the Fall Prevention Technology actively working, Amazon’s not liable to replace your gadget, as it’s your fault!

As for the future of this Fall Prevention Technology, how about anti-gravity; instead of hitting the ground, it just floats in mid-fall after falling a pre-set distance above the ground! The research begins with Amazon’s patent that’s Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)!
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