Sony patents liquid shock absorbers for phones

4 Jul 2007

Engineers in Sony have developed a new device, similar to an airbag, for protecting the inner electronics of mobile devices like handsets, cameras and mp3 players.

The fluid-filled bags encase the delicate hard disk, acting as shock absorbers if the device is dropped.

Using an iris system, when the encased electronics move towards the outer wall of the device, the liquid will move or be displaced around the watertight bag, cushioning the inner hard drive at all times.

Sony engineers have proposed the use of water or silicon oil for the liquid airbags previously, having toyed with the idea of letting a waterproof hard drive literally float between two liquids of different densities.

Sony filed the patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office on May 31st. If this invention becomes commercially viable, it could eventually be applied to laptops as well as cameras and mobile phones, giving all mobile electronics added durability.

By Marie Boran