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Honda Releases Smartphone Case N with Airbags

Written by Liam Grant. Posted in Gadgets

A case is designed to protect your smartphone from bumps, scrapes and drops. However, many smartphone users still manage to break their device. Honda is promoting a new line of small cars by adding airbags to a protective case in their new video. The Smartphone Case N uses carbon dioxide to inflate small airbags right after it detects it is falling. [Not a valid template] The brainchild of designers at Honda used 6 different smart airbags that inflate within a split second and protect your phone. Even if the phone looks perfectly safe, we are not sure is it would be safe for the case to inflate while still in your pocket. However, the airbag case is a promotion for the new series of cars, so it is unlikely it will be available in shops any time soon. But with the new discoveries in technology, anything is possible. So if you were expecting some high tech news involving smartphones, here’s one piece that you’ll definitely find some use in. The Honda Smartphone Case N is very similar to the airbags in cars which activate in the event of a collision. However, instead of deploying on impact, Honda’s airbags pop when the phone faces the force of gravity. When the phone is falling, an accelerometer trips and a canister of carbon dioxide gas inflates the airbags in 0.2 of a second. Thus, the phone’s fall is cushioned and your problem is solved. The airbags are located around the edges and the computer-controlled accelerometer in the rear of the case. Although this idea is impractical in its current form, the system is real and functional. In the video, the airbags deploy after 3 ft of falling, or 90 cm, so it might not be a good idea to take the case along when you are practicing sports. Once the computer triggers the mechanism, the valve is opened electrically and CO2 is released from a cartridge. After the impact, it bounces gently for a moment and then the phone rests unharmed on the airbags. At this point, the airbags remain inflated so it is unclear how they can be repacked or replaced. Like any device, the Honda Smartphone Case N has its pros and cons. On one side, it seems to be performing its main function in an effective manner so that the smartphone is protected. On the other hand, its size is enormous and the cost will probably be very high. Moreover, resetting the airbags may be difficult or cost extra. Another flaw is the fact that the phone is not protected if it is dropped screen down on a pointy object. There is also a danger of tripping while having the case in your pocket. It is clear that the concept is not ready for prime time. This high tech news will definitely arouse interest in lots of smartphone users who enjoy spending lots of money on new devices but are afraid they might break them. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos believes that the idea is good enough, as he patented it for Amazon. The patent filed in February 2010 covers almost any method of protecting the fragile phone, including reorienting it while it falls or using air jets to slow the fall. We believe that this concept may become a common reality sooner than we expected.

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