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Amazon wins strange airbag patent

Amazon has acquired a patent designed to protect gadgets from accidents using tiny airbags, reports CNET.

The unusual patent application drew attention immediately after it was filed with the US Patents and Trademark Office last August. The patent, filed in 2010, was only granted earlier this week.

The system, detailed in the patent, uses a gadget's built-in features, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers and cameras, to sense when the device is falling. The system then prevents the device from damages by deploying airbags to lessen the damage.

In theory, the new patent could be used to prevent any damage to devices like Amazon's Kindle, although there has been no word on whether Amazon will actually develop anything of this kind.

In its initial filing, the firm suggested the technology would be perfect for protecting mobile phones, computers, tablets and cameras.

It is the latest unusual patent to be obtained by a major tech firm. Last month, it was revealed that Microsoft has been granted a patent that can use cameras built in TVs, PC and mobile phones to spy on consumers and make sure they pay for content.