Sony has recently applied for a patent on a new "liquid airbag" technology which the company hopes will protect data such as memory cards and hard drives from physical damage. Now, we've seen the word airbag tossed around
(no pun intended) in regard to data protection before, but this concept differs a bit from systems that have been used in the past. The technology works by surrounding media with a liquid-filled case outfitted with "biasing units", used to maintain the orientation of the drive, and irises, which would detect movement and configure themselves -- using the liquid -- according to the direction of pressure. As the walls of the casing were subjected to force, the irises (which are created by small protrusions on the bag) move their protuberances closer together to provide increased shock absorption by adding resistance to the flow of fluid. No word on Sony's plans for the system, although we suspect the first order of business will be liquid-airbag protected Memory Sticks.