Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, has applied for a patent on a mobile phone safety feature that would deploy an airbag if the device falls.
According to the patent filing, which has just been made public, tiny airbags would be deployed from the phone if the in-built accelerometer detected that was falling.
The patent submitted by the Amazon boss also suggests using a laser or even radar to determine the distance between the phone and the ground.
Other suggestions for protecting a falling phone include springs that would be released from the casing to ensure that the phone safely bounced on hitting the ground. The patent application also suggests thata gyroscope or jets of compressed air could be used to alter the angle of the device in the air.
The application describes a method for “determining if a risk of damage to the portable device from the impact exceeds a damage threshold; when the risk of damage to the portable device exceeds the damage threshold: altering the orientation of the portable device such that the air bag first impacts the surface; and deploying the airbag prior to impact with the surface.”
The invention is credited to Mr Bezos and Amazon vice president Greg Heart but the patent has not yet been granted. Mr Bezos, 47, started Amazon in 1994.