Jeff Bezos is one busy man. Though he has his hands full as the CEO of Amazon, Bezos still makes time to brainstorm some very outlandish, possibly brilliant, ideas. Last week, Bezos made headlines when Amazon introduced the world to Amazon Air, a drone delivery system slated to launch in 2015, but this isn’t the first time Bezos has left people scratching their heads with one of his ideas. Here are five other quirky ideas from one of tech’s most eccentric bigwigs.
1. A cell phone airbag: Bezos registered a patent for a phone airbag in 2011. An accelerometer would measure if a phone or similar device were falling and trigger tiny airbags to inflate as the phone hits the ground. The patent is registered as “protecting devices from impact damage” and includes ideas like releasing gas to let the phone float to the ground or protecting the device with springs that pop out of the device as it falls.
2. A $42 million clock: Bezos is building a $42 million clock hidden inside a mountain in West Texas. The clock will be 200 feet tall and last a millennia, though it’s called “The 10,000 Year Clock.” Bezos told the Wall Street Journal he’s building it in order to promote long-term thinking and responsibility. Okay.
3. “Dumb” tablets: You think Bezos is going to have Apple have all the glory with iPads? Then you obviously haven’t heard of dumb tablets. Bezos registered a patent for a dumb tablet earlier this year, or rather, a “remote display.” These will be basic tablets whose processors are remote, thereby allowing the tablets to be very thin and lightweight – perfect for signs and displays.
4. Cheap flights to space: Bezos is a man of the people, and he wants to send us all to space! Well, maybe not all of us, but he is trying to “make it so that anybody can go into space” with his company Blue Origin. He founded Blue Origin in 200 with the mission of making human access to space cheaper and safer. Blue Origin tested a new rocket engine just last week.
5. Buying a newspaper: Who would buy a newspaper in this day and age? Jeff Bezos, apparently. The quirky entrepreneur shocked media watchers when he bought the Washington Post in August. It’s still hard to tell what Bezos will do with the national paper, but he told the Post in September, “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,. If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”
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