We are surrounded by electronic kit that is nicely streamlined and therefore all as easily droppable as a bar of soap.
Today’s invention is an alternative to having an accelerometer on board to switch off any internal hard disk just as our favourite shiny toy hits the deck.
Touchscreens are ten a penny, so imagine having one on both the front and rear face of eg your smartphone. These would be of the type that sense any kind of pressure, not just skin contact.
Place the device on a table or remain holding it and it works fine. Remove all sources of surface contact (ie drop it) and the whole thing immediately interprets that as “I’m falling” and moves into crash resist mode.
(This might involve eg deploying some kind of small airbag or operating an internal motor to reorientate the system in flight for minimal damage when hitting the floor).