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Hacky Sack Cell Phone

Mobile airbags
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A friend recently tried to impress me with his new phone. One of the preloaded games is a version of that old get-the-ball-bearing-in-the hole-game which you used to get in Christmas crackers and party packs. The sensitivity of the phone was impressive, but is also exactly why I shouldn't own this sort of phone - I tend to drop them.

With such a sensitive accelerometer, surely it can recognise an acceleration of 9.8m/s², as well as the direction in which it's falling?

The idea is to install miniature airbags in each of the 4 corners of the phone, that deploy on recognition of an earth bound acceleration, at a time at which damage may result, i.e., no deployment if dropped from a trivial height.

It would probably only be necessary to deploy the bag of the corner about to hit the floor, but if all 4 were to deploy, the end result would resemble a footbag that could, with some practice, be deftly flicked up onto one's shoulder or head without breaking stride.

A compressor could be incorporated into the battery charger.

shudderprose, Jul 28 2009

Footbag http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footbag
...or hacky sack [shudderprose, Jul 28 2009]

Make an airbag for your apple iPhone (video) http://www.youtube....watch?v=ksyJzN_ueKE
*doink* [jutta, Jul 28 2009]

How car airbags actually work http://auto.howstuffworks.com/airbag1.htm
It's an instantaneous chemical reaction - a compressor wouldn't be fast enough. [jutta, Jul 28 2009]

[link]






       Some laptops use accelerometers to park the disk drive head when the device is falling - so using it in another accident prevention mechanism isn't all that far-fetched.
jutta, Jul 28 2009
  

       Obtain a phone lanyard, and one of those extending ID badge clip-reels. Attach clip to lanyard and phone. Put lanyard round neck. Drop phone. Phone falls short distance and then decelerates gently as spring in extending reel tensions.   

       [+] for the idea, as long as the inflation mechanism is pyrotechnic. Extra honorary [+] if expanded to include the Zero-Zero ejection seat concept using rocketry and a parachute.
8th of 7, Jul 28 2009
  

       I've written an app for my phone that plays a scream MP3 sfx if the accelerometer detects free-fall.
coprocephalous, Jul 28 2009
  

       so jump off a curb and get a surprise as four tiny airbags inflate in your pocket... [+]
FlyingToaster, Jul 28 2009
  

       I don't get the title. Is there some sort of delay in getting the bags to deflate? Perhaps the only way to do so is to kick it around? Is there a place to hide your stash??
daseva, Jul 28 2009
  

       // especially with an air compressor//
The way I read it, the compressor is in the charger, so there's a small high-pressure storage tank* in the phone, with (I hope) a pyrotechnic valve, like the one used to blow off the helium cylinder's valve in a TOW missile, used to spin up the gyro. [+]
  

       *Which could also be used in emergencies as a reserve SCUBA unit.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 28 2009
  
      
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