Five Ways To Make Gadgets Human-Proof

Because the biggest threat to your favorite device is probably you

Broken Screen

Broken Screen

Thorston Hartmann/Flickr, CC by 2.0

We incorporate electronic gadgets of all kinds into our lives, with the idea that they will make our lives easier. The thing is, we don't always treat those gadgets well. Hence, the latest trend in technology: creating devices that protect themselves from, well, us. Earlier this week, Apple received approval for a patent designed to protect electronic devices, like the iPhone, during a fall. One of the most talked about features of the patented technology is its ability to rotate the phone as it falls, preventing the dreaded cracked screen by forcing the iPhone to land on its back.

Scroll through our gallery to see other self-protective gadgets, both in use today and imagined for the future.

Cracked iPhone

Cracked iPhone

Apple's new patent describes several different options for how it could rotate the device in mid-air, including using the vibration motor to rotate the phone, or strategically ejecting the battery.Nicholas Smale/Flickr, CC by 2.0
Case N

Smartphone Airbag

Phone cases protect against the basic elements, but sometimes a case just isn't enough. Last year, Honda released a video showing a smartphone case with built in airbags, called Case N. The Honda design (shown above) was just a joke, but others, including Samsung and Amazon's Jeff Bezos have explored the idea as well, patenting designs that could break the disastrous fall of a phone with airbags or jets of air.Screenshot of Honda Case N Video
Waterproof e-reader

Waterproof e-Reader

While dropping a paperback book in the bath, or getting some sea spray on your hardcover beach read is not the end of the world, moisture and e-readers don't mix. This year, Kobo released a waterproof e-reader that will let book lovers, no matter how clumsy, take their e-reader everywhere.Kobo
Broken Computer

Broken Computer

Laptops were among the earliest technologies to add protection against human mishaps. Many now come with active hard drive protection (aka free-fall protection) which prevents damage to the hard drive as soon as built-in sensors detect a fall. It might not help if your laptop gets thrown off a building, but for everyday drops, it does provide some peace of mind.David Foltz/Flickr, CC by ND 2.0
Dust Free Lens Filter

Dust Free Lens Filter

Camera lenses are far from cheap. But dust, smudges, and stains can damage this valuable investment. To protect their lenses, photographers can now purchase filters specially designed to prevent damage. This year, Kenko Tokina released a new line of their Hoya Evo filters with an anti-static coating designed to keep camera lenses pristine no matter what abuse they are put through.Nate Hill/Flickr, CC by SA 2.0