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Sony Develops Fluid-Filled Bags For Hard Disks

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the putting-on-the-brakes dept.

Data Storage 144

MsManhattan writes "Sony has filed for a US patent on a liquid-filled airbag that cushions hard disks from heavy shocks in portable electronic devices. 'The liquid used could be water or silicon oil,' and 'the electronics would of course be in a liquid-tight case.' Sony expects to use the technology in mobile devices such as cameras, media players, smartphones, and laptops." The article mentions a clever approach Sony has come up with to handle shocks of varying intensity.

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144 comments

Solid state (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | about 7 years ago | (#19735529)

I expect solid state storage to make redundant the need for liquid cushioning for hard drives and we won't be dealing with this cushioning problem for long. Already there have been a number of incidents where solid state memory is proving far more resistant to physical damage (shock and water immersion) than "rotational media" and with plummeting costs, consumers will have access to far more solid state media in the very near future anyway. Hey the people that are being really hard on their equipment [utah.edu] are going with solid state storage, so why should not the rest of us for our iPods, laptops and iPhones?

Besides, I just don't know about fluid filled electronics. I've played around with liquid cooling in the past and have never been able to come up with a reliable (read: long term=years) solution that does not leak. We run our systems 24/7 and I thought that perhaps Apple had come up with a decent solution for liquid cooling on their older G5 towers, but we currently have a dual G5 in the shop that had managed to pee all over itself. Needless to say, that is a system that is awaiting a part from IBM and is down, not doing anything productive. Apple had the right idea in dumping the IBM and their liquid cooling necessity and I think that for the time being, I'll avoid drives bathed in liquid as well... Especially given that the articles focus is for equipment that receives more physical impacts than a desktop machine.

P.S.... Not sure why this was posted under YRO...

Re:Solid state (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735591)

P.S.... Not sure why this was posted under YRO...

Because all the idiots are about to start complaining that this shouldn't be patentable because their fanfiction about robots with breast implants is prior art...

Re:Solid state (2, Informative)

Iron Condor (964856) | about 7 years ago | (#19735715)

I don't know about fanfic, but I've gel-mounted HDDs since the middle nineties. This is entirely common in the aerospace industry. As a matter of fact, try running "hard disk gel mount" (without the quotes) through google one of these days for a long list of patents already granted for this idea.

Re:Solid state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736591)

You and all the other "old news" people really should try reading the article.

Re:Solid state (3, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 7 years ago | (#19735595)

I put a lot more "wear and tear" on my running shoes which have a gel in the sole. In the 15 years I've been running, I've never had gel leak.

Re:Solid state (3, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | about 7 years ago | (#19735635)

I put a lot more "wear and tear" on my running shoes which have a gel in the sole. In the 15 years I've been running, I've never had gel leak.

Yeah, but that gel is in an absolutely sealed envelope. Nothing (wires) needs to get in or out, whereas with a hard drive, unless you are powering by induction and have a wireless (radio or optical) way of transmitting data, you need wires to penetrate the envelope. *That* is where failure occurs.

So? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735939)

Who cares. Remember the Sony DRM? They are evil. Sony sucks and Nintendo is way better. I bet this fluid filled bag has DRM, too. I for one would prefer not to have Sony DRM on my computer, so I will not be purchasing this product. DRM. Hopefully Nintendo will come up with an even more innovative product soon, like using rubber to protect the hard drive.

Re:Solid state (2, Interesting)

cowscows (103644) | about 7 years ago | (#19736127)

I think a system like the article is describing could also create some interesting challenges in regards to cooling as well. If you're basically wrapping hardware in a bag, then you need to create some way of getting the heat out. Perhaps the liquid filled bag itself could act as a sort of heat sink, but it seems like that would be quite a challenge to work out, finding the proper liquid/bag materials that absorb impacts properly and transmit heat well. Plus this system sounds like it involves the liquid moving around, which means that if the liquid plays an important part in dealing with the heat, you have to account for the amount of liquid in a particular place changing.

Re:Solid state (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 7 years ago | (#19737011)

Most(*) fluids conduct heat well. If you use a non-conducting liquid, why not get rid of the casing and immerse the electronics in the liquid, using it as coolant.

*: I'd say all, but I'm sure that if I say that, nature will prove me wrong once more.

Re:Solid state (1)

binarybum (468664) | about 7 years ago | (#19737219)

not sure how good of an idea that would be for moving parts of a HD. Local pressure and viscosity changes in response to temperature, as well as dealing with fluid dynamics of movement or shock might interfere with plate-head movements critical to data storage/retrieval.

Re:Solid state (1)

bartlettdmoore (972179) | about 7 years ago | (#19736219)

a torus or cup shaped gel-filled pocket absolves this problem

Re:Solid state (1)

nwbvt (768631) | about 7 years ago | (#19736887)

Except that would involve the hard drive outside of the bag, which isn't what they are describing. In fact that technology has existed for some time (check out Panasonic's Toughbook line), so it wouldn't be patentable.

Re:Solid state (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#19736489)

Yeah, but that gel is in an absolutely sealed envelope. Nothing (wires) needs to get in or out, whereas with a hard drive, unless you are powering by induction and have a wireless (radio or optical) way of transmitting data, you need wires to penetrate the envelope. *That* is where failure occurs.

Well, what a stupid theory.

I could take it further though. How did the liquid get into the envelope? It had to penetrate the envelope!

Now spend few minutes thinking how you could shape a tightly sealed envelope with liquid around a disk, and leave a hole for cables without using ice-pick to puncture it. Come on, it's not hard.

Re:Solid state (2, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | about 7 years ago | (#19736693)

Well, what a stupid theory.

You don't have to resort to being an ass here...

I could take it further though. How did the liquid get into the envelope? It had to penetrate the envelope!

But then you can seal it with no need for "ports" to be maintained which as any engineer who deals with these sorts of problems will tell you, *are* failure points. Thus the whole industry of gaskets, seals etc...etc...etc... My point is that unless the benefits greatly outweigh the costs/hassle of dealing with liquids in electronic environments, I'll choose to have my electronics in good 'ol air, thanks very much. And with solid state.... why should we bother?

Re:Solid state (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#19736801)

You don't have to resort to being an ass here...

I don't have to resort to it, since it's my permanent state.

But then you can seal it with no need for "ports" to be maintained which as any engineer who deals with these sorts of problems will tell you, *are* failure points. Thus the whole industry of gaskets, seals etc...etc...etc...

Those are failure points because they let you put air/water/whatever inside the device or let it out. In the case with hard drives, the hard drives are not floating in water themselves, they are surrounded by a sealed packet of liquid. As such, there's no gasket/seal here, so no weak point of that sort.

Caramilk Secret (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 years ago | (#19736783)

Maybe they got the liquid into the envelope the same way that they get the soft flowing caramel inside the chocolaty pockets of the Caramilk bar.

Re:Solid state (1)

nwbvt (768631) | about 7 years ago | (#19736813)

"Now spend few minutes thinking how you could shape a tightly sealed envelope with liquid around a disk, and leave a hole for cables without using ice-pick to puncture it. Come on, it's not hard."

Well, no, the disk is inside the bag, you can't shape it around the disk after its been tightly sealed. I'm fairly certain its still possible to seal the thing (we have had waterproofing technology for some time now), but its not as simple as shaping a fluid filled bag around the disk.

Solid state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736803)

> penetrate the envelope

ah, envelope, is that what we're calling it these days? (sorry, the high schooler in me hasn't graduated for decades now - and he plans to stay there for as long as he can)

"Honest! I didn't piss my pants. It's just a leaky drive in my pocket."

Re:Solid state (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 7 years ago | (#19737059)

Nothing (wires) needs to get in or out, whereas with a hard drive, unless you are powering by induction and have a wireless (radio or optical) way of transmitting data, you need wires to penetrate the envelope. *That* is where failure occurs.
I think that should read "*That* is where failure occurs on badly engineered products.". I'm sure there are waterproof ways to solve this reliably.

Re:Solid state (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 7 years ago | (#19737189)

That gel is in an absolutely sealed envelope. Nothing (wires) needs to get in or out, whereas with a hard drive, unless you are powering by induction and have a wireless (radio or optical) way of transmitting data, you need wires to penetrate the envelope. *That* is where failure occurs.

Yes, if both the wires and enclosure were not well bonded, this would be where failure would be likely to occur. However, if you thermally bond the HD enclosure to the insulation of the wires, attach the HD through an open end of the enclosure , fill it with gel, seal the exposed enclosure end, and support both enclosure and the wires coming out to minimize relative movement of the two, you probably would not have much of a chance of the enclosure leaking. In addition, I'd think that they'd also use a non-conductive gel to minimize any problems even in the case of a small leak. Sony may be scum, but they still have a few good engineers that work there.

Re:Solid state (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 7 years ago | (#19738059)

How about fluid filled drives. CFCs are the perfect choice. ;)

Re:Solid state (1)

BWJones (18351) | about 7 years ago | (#19735695)

Since the gel is sealed in the sole, how would you know if you had a leak or not? Have you done forensics on all your shoes? That and I suspect you have not had the same shoes for 15 years either... :-) I get your point, but see my other post [slashdot.org] for a more complete explanation.

Re:Solid state (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 7 years ago | (#19736119)

Why not have the same shoes for 15 years? That is pushing it, but my current only pair of "normal" shoes is coming up on 8 years old (i also own a pair of boots and a pair of sandals, both slightly younger).

Re:Solid state (4, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | about 7 years ago | (#19735663)

Panasonic have had a gel 'bag' protecting their hard-drives in their Toughbooks for some time. Surely they've suitably protected their IP.

I even managed to find a picture of one on Ebay [ebay.com]

FTA: Why is it called an "air bag" if it is filled with liquid?

Re:Solid state (2, Interesting)

nwbvt (768631) | about 7 years ago | (#19736709)

I was just thinking that (I actually still have one of those), but according to TFA, there is a lot more to it than the /. summary (as usual).

Re:Solid state (1)

AP2k (991160) | about 7 years ago | (#19736085)

Cars can run their entire lives without leaking. My 23 year old car is just now developing a pressure leak and slowly letting steam out somewhere. If you have a leaky coolant system, you should probably learn from automotive engineers instead of "geek boutique" websites,

Re:Solid state (1)

BWJones (18351) | about 7 years ago | (#19736173)

Yeah, well if I remember correctly, Apple outsourced the production of the liquid cooling systems for the G5s to GM or a GM subsidiary like Delphi. Perhaps if they outsourced them to Honda, we'd still be working on that liquid cooled G5 and it would not be in the shop...

Re:Solid state (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 years ago | (#19736393)

1 extra pound in a car is nothing. Weight is important, but you can make it up elsewhere. 1 extra pound in a laptop is death.

Re:Solid state (1)

Smoking_Gnu (1123563) | about 7 years ago | (#19737977)

While I'll defer to your unpleasant experiance with your G5's bladder control I don't think you should base the feasilibity of fluid cooling technology on such a small sample. When fluid cooling of processor is used en masse to provide a radiant heating system for the building thus converting waste heat to increased energy efficiency the techology is quite beneficial. But then you're using computers that are significantly larger than a G5 tower. I guess my point is don't dismiss a technology just because the first few gen's of the consumer product is shit.

why... (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | about 7 years ago | (#19735545)

...the hell ist that YRO. seems quite technical...

Because.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735645)

it had that p-p-p-.. oh, I just can't SAY IT! .. that WORD in it. That starts with P and means Pure Evil.

(at least, it 's a possible reason. I don't have any problem with patents, myself.)

- A. C.

A broad patent on an obvious idea with prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19737471)

why yro? maybe because it looks like yet another broad patent over an obvious idea with lots of prior art and no helpful details on practical implementation to be used when it expires?

Liquid-filled airbag? (5, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 7 years ago | (#19735559)

Now that's logical!

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 7 years ago | (#19735657)

Now that's logical!
That's what I thought; but perhaps the air they use is going to be very, *very* cold.

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (4, Informative)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 7 years ago | (#19735661)

God beat them to it, our brains are suspended in liquid.

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (1)

Joe Random (777564) | about 7 years ago | (#19735717)

What's next? Air-filled water balloons at parties?
Or what about an air-filled liquid-filled-airbag to protect people in automobile accidents? Genius!

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | about 7 years ago | (#19735847)

Damn, I was hoping I would get to be the first to comment on that.

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 7 years ago | (#19736125)

No less logical than "real" airbags: they're inflated by an explosive charge. No air involved.

But "airbag" just sounds more benign than "grenade bag"...

rj

Re:Liquid-filled airbag? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | about 7 years ago | (#19736431)

But "airbag" just sounds more benign than "grenade bag"...

Mod parent "+1, Owes me a Mt. Dew"

Definitions. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 years ago | (#19737125)

It kind of depends on how you define "air". Usually when a lay person is saying "air" in this context they mean gas filled, and not filled with "78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% carbon dioxide and trace gasses"

I Never Owned a Sony Hard Disk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735565)

globaltics.net [globaltics.net] Global Political Discussion

Flash memory? (2)

PsEvo (1075643) | about 7 years ago | (#19735571)

"Sony expects to use the technology in mobile devices such as cameras, media players, smartphones, and laptops." Camera's have HDD's? O.o Surely a cushion of water wouldn't protect something like a cell phone hitting the concrete.

Re:Flash memory? (2, Informative)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | about 7 years ago | (#19735735)

Camera's have HDD's?

If the camera is carrying one of the several models of microdrives [wikipedia.org] , they do. I've always stuck with CF because of write times and storage density, but I know a couple of photographers who like 'em.

Surely a cushion of water wouldn't protect something like a cell phone hitting the concrete

I would assume that the liquid would be considerably more viscous than plain water.

Re:Flash memory? (4, Informative)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 7 years ago | (#19735931)

Camera's have HDD's?
most of the time no, but almost every patent application attempts to patent the broadest possible terms so in this case if anyone ever (in the next 20 years) decides to incorporate a hdd and wants to add a shock absorber, they have to go through Sony. That is ignoring the fact that this is not patentable, but it's the intent.

Surely a cushion of water wouldn't protect something like a cell phone hitting the concrete
You may be surprised at the amount of cushioning something like this could provide. If the normal deceleration of the hard drive without an insert occurs in 5ms (let's say metal to concrete.) With something like the insert, I would expect the full deceleration to occur over times like a quarter to even a half a second. Just in doing so you have reduced the amount of force induced on the drive by a factor of 50-100.
To demonstrate this in the real world, My last cellphone survived a fall of 70 feet onto a rock bed just because it hit on part of the plastic case that wasn't connected to the motherboard. If it would have hit on the bottom metal connector, it would have had very little or no chance. If instead there were a thin .5 inch layer of gel or liquid in a bag on the ground, I doubt it would have even received the chip that it did.

Re:Flash memory? (1)

kmac06 (608921) | about 7 years ago | (#19736327)

That is ignoring the fact that this is not patentable, but it's the intent.

Why is this not patentable? The method they proposed does not seem obvious (using irises). Do you know of some prior art, or this just the typical /. anti-patent stance?

Re:Flash memory? (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 7 years ago | (#19736859)

You're right, without seeing the claim language it is impossible to make that assumption. It is also true that they have a lot to overcome with Toughbook having their fluid-filled hdd bag holder in every device already. I guess we'll see in 18 months when this becomes PG-pub.

Re:Flash memory? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#19737593)

You're right, without seeing the claim language it is impossible to make that assumption.

And yet you did, and were modded up for it. Yay Slashdot.

Re:Flash memory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736999)

With something like the insert, I would expect the full deceleration to occur over times like a quarter to even a half a second. Just in doing so you have reduced the amount of force induced on the drive by a factor of 50-100. ... If instead there were a thin .5 inch layer of gel or liquid in a bag on the ground, I doubt it would have even received the chip that it did.

Sure, with a half-inch bag of water there. But I don't think that reduction is realistic for the amount of room actually available within a cell phone. You can't fit a half-inch sphere in a RAZR.

OO? (4, Funny)

youthoftoday (975074) | about 7 years ago | (#19735589)

But will it hold linux?

Re:OO? (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 7 years ago | (#19736349)

Nothing can hold Linux. It was born to be free, like a wild mountain goat crossed with some kind of tiger. Trying to hold Linux would be like trying to bottle sunshine.

Re:OO? (1)

aquabat (724032) | about 7 years ago | (#19738079)

like a wild mountain goat crossed with some kind of tiger.
Or maybe a penguin crossed with some kind of duck.

Some medical companies do this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735619)

For dicks, though. Not disks.

My girlfriend's cell phone (4, Funny)

incog8723 (579923) | about 7 years ago | (#19735621)

When I throw her cell phone against the pavement, I expect it to break.

Sigh.

Re:My girlfriend's cell phone (1, Insightful)

schweinhund (119060) | about 7 years ago | (#19735983)

If you're serious, she should be throwing you right out the door. If she's pissing you off, then just leave her to do whatever it is she does. Breaking her phone is weak, not to mention lame.

Re:My girlfriend's cell phone (2, Funny)

andrewd18 (989408) | about 7 years ago | (#19736103)

Breaking her phone is weak, not to mention lame.
Woah, both weak AND lame! I bet he's just reeling from THAT verbal assault.

Re:My girlfriend's cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736645)

You're obviously single.

Re:My girlfriend's cell phone (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736225)

Maybe you just throw like a girl.

Kiff (5, Funny)

prestonmichaelh (773400) | about 7 years ago | (#19735627)

Actually, I don't have bones. I am supported by a system of fluid-filled bladders...

Re:Kiff (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 7 years ago | (#19735671)

Leo Wong: Yeah, yeah, you a big squishy wuss.

Re:Kiff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735679)

HAHA you beat me to that!

The importance of this in business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735637)

I see this could help businesses to become people ready. With liquid-filled, people ready laptops users will for the first time engage rss-capable APIs with Cluetrain widget mashups, all whilst taking a dump!

Did we mention it would be people_ready?

Gotta do it.. (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | about 7 years ago | (#19735641)

to heck with my karma! How do they buffer the intense shock of their crappy PS3 sales figures!

Re:Gotta do it.. (1)

Panzergheist (609926) | about 7 years ago | (#19737037)

And you expected to get modded down on /. for that? Please, hating Sony on /. is en vogue!

Also An Anti-Piracy Measure (4, Funny)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | about 7 years ago | (#19735665)

Rumours are surfacing that Sony has also been employing similar fluid sacs to absorb the blow of piracy. These fluid sacs are called "people" and, by inserting them into a judicial system, they can be induced release quantities of money.

Re:Also An Anti-Piracy Measure (1)

geek2718 (990232) | about 7 years ago | (#19736139)

You're conflating liquid bags and gas bags.

UGLY BAGS OF MOSTLY WATER (1)

scribblej (195445) | about 7 years ago | (#19736329)

UGLY BAGS OF MOSTLY WATER

Re:UGLY BAGS OF MOSTLY WATER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19737193)

That was the first thing I thought of, too. And I'm not even a fan! :D

There is already stuff like this out there. (3, Interesting)

lhaeh (463179) | about 7 years ago | (#19735707)

My 10 year old Panasonic Toughbook had a gel casing for the hard drive. I like that solution better since there is no potential for leaks. Even if the fluid was nonconductive you would still have to replace it.

I hate to think what airlines would think of all this evil liquid being allowed on board as well.

Sony Discovers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735713)

the hydraulic shock absorber. Grats to them.

bionueral gel packs! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 7 years ago | (#19735747)

this means we're one step closer to bionueral gel packs! (yes I know those didn't actually store data on Star Trek, they processed or relayed commands or whatever) Seriously, you add some nerves to that sucker with the hard drive in the middle and get to to learn math and you've got a computer in a pouch lol

Something I'm missing... (1)

Etrias (1121031) | about 7 years ago | (#19735807)

Why do I feel like there's something funny to be said by linking "liquid filled bags" and soilent green in some way.

Re:Something I'm missing... (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 7 years ago | (#19736339)

Because hard drives with liquid filled implants remind you of those 32DD belonging to Bianca Beauchamp.

Ugly bags of mostly water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19735835)

Just the obligatory Star Trek quote

Extra Feature (1, Redundant)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 years ago | (#19735901)

As an added bonus, the disks come with the rootkit pre-installed!

Flower kit surely (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 7 years ago | (#19736191)

If you put a rootkit in a liquid gel doesn't it sprout and form a whole plant?

Gel bags and terror threat (1)

WayneDV (35999) | about 7 years ago | (#19735917)

Great idea... but all I can focus on are the 4 hours of airport security checks in which I will have to dismantle my portable media player, notebook and cellphone , remove their gel bags and toss them in a dirt bin before I can check in to my flight *sigh*

YRO? (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | about 7 years ago | (#19735921)

Not trying to troll here, I'm just really curious what this has to do with m(Y) (R)ights (O)nline? I now have a right to bags full of silicone while using a computer? Oh, wait, that's been on the net for *ages*...

Next step - ST: Voyager? (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | about 7 years ago | (#19735971)

All we need now is to integrate these packs with some processor-type lifeforms and voila, Bio-Neural Gel Packs [memory-alpha.org] . Everyone's least favorite Star Trek Captain is closer than you think.

Oh no! This is completely original! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 years ago | (#19736043)

These bags go inside the drives! Plus they are "on the internet."

Don't google already do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736061)

I was under the impression they strapped their HDD's onto a gelpack using velcro.

They may not have an overly productive purpose... (1)

BrunoBigfoot (996441) | about 7 years ago | (#19736179)

but the hard drives will be firm and perky, and will remain so for quite some time. In fact, in 20 years, these laptops will have the hard drives of a young laptop. This will help to maintain the overall self-esteem of the laptop.

And they're totally safe. If the bags happen to leak, the fluid is reabsorbed by the system.

Seriously though. Between rootkits and exploding batteries, should we honestly trust anything designed by Sony?

Wonderbra announces... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736319)

Wonderbra announces a complete line of carry cases for the gel-filled bags...

In Japan... (1)

skulgnome (1114401) | about 7 years ago | (#19736357)

Hard drives come in bags!

Fluid-Filled Bags (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | about 7 years ago | (#19736365)

A topic about "Fluid-Filled Bags" and not a single pee joke to be seen. For shame on all of you.

saline or silicon implants for hard drives.... (1)

bitbucketeer (892710) | about 7 years ago | (#19736387)

Now if they'd only invent liposuction for Windows...

Funbags? Fatsacks? (1)

ZxCv (6138) | about 7 years ago | (#19736449)

Is this story about hard drives or a porno?

I'm strangely attracted to my HD now (1)

caywen (942955) | about 7 years ago | (#19736473)

After Sony inserted these fluid filled bags into my hard drive, I find myself staring at it more, and I can't stop fondling it.

LIQUID-filled AIRbag? (0, Redundant)

MBoffin (259181) | about 7 years ago | (#19736487)

Does anyone else see something wrong with calling it a liquid-filled airbag?

I've heard of keeping a breast with technology but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19736545)

"What a fine pair of SCSI's you have"

Hahahaha (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | about 7 years ago | (#19736551)

Oh man, how perfect is this? Now when their hard drives explode, the computer will be able to put itself out!

Hmm...sounds familiar. (1)

jshackney (99735) | about 7 years ago | (#19736573)

Sounds a lot like a typical oleo strut found on nearly all modern aircraft. Drive a rod whose diameter increases through a fixed opening and dampen the action with liquid. The idea has been around at least since the early 1900s and applied to all manner of shock-absorption needs. Sounds like a neat idea, but I wonder how well it will work since the idea is to increase the distance or time period (or both) over which the shock is applied. Small devices are already so small, will these air(liquid) bags be able to dampen enough given the limited space in which they'll be installed? Besides, isn't my hard drive already tested to 11g (or something like that? I don't remember).

I was thinking... (5, Funny)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | about 7 years ago | (#19736661)

Since this is Sony, are they going to call these "Douche Bags?"

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night.

Why not air... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#19736711)

1. Air should have better shock absorption abilities (consider an airbag filled with *water* in your car.. won't be nice)
2. And won't cause 'hardware casualties' upon container penetration (read: water or silicon gel all over your gadget/laptop).

I just hope they use liquids because I'm missing something obvious (likely), and not because they're patently stupid (unlikely), or stopped by patents (a bit more likely).

HDD breathing holes (1)

TwoScoopsOfPig (900069) | about 7 years ago | (#19736779)

If I'm not misktaken, there are filtered holes for air inake to provide a cushion between the head and platter... Without the air, the head crashes and digs into the drive platter. Now, I didn't RTFA, but still. Liquid-tight cases are also gas-tight, and my buddy O2 is a gas at parties.

Flashback from the 90s... (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | about 7 years ago | (#19737017)

I hope my hard drive doesn't develop breast cancer [wikipedia.org] or some other disease when they rupture...

Obvious (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | about 7 years ago | (#19737145)

20 years ago my Biology teacher told our class a great way to protect anything is to wrap it in a large bag of fluid. He used pregnancy as an example. Sorry SONY, but a lot of prior art there! Wonder if my old Biology teacher can sue you? If it doesn't, it still falls under obvious.

SONY, stick to what you're good at: Incompatible Consumer Electronics, rootkits, exploding batteries, and your stake in the RIAA Mafia.

USPTO: Yeah, well, We'd expect nothing less from you.

In other news... (1)

vengeful_ferengi (1103091) | about 7 years ago | (#19737259)

Sony has announced that this new technology will only be compatible with the new Sony branded hard disk drives, Sony harddiskstick duo.

Fire safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19737285)

At least now we have something to extinguish those exploding batteries :)

Phooey (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#19737733)

Most of the fluid-filled bags at Sony work in their upper management, and frankly I'd like to shock-test more than a few of them. See if they burst when you drop them from the roof. I also don't really care if they leak when I poke some wires into them.

Besides, using a gel or fluid to spread the force of an impact is an ancient idea. Come on, the stench of obviousness can be detected a mile away. Might as well patent using a pointing device for online shopping. There could certainly be some patentable aspects to such an "innovation", but in and of itself it's pretty ridiculous.

Of course, I didn't read the FA ... we're heading out to see Silver Surfer in a couple minutes, and I'd rather see a lame sequel than read much of anything about Sony.

PlayStation 4 (1)

feedmetrolls (1108119) | about 7 years ago | (#19737835)

In five years, all game consoles will be soft and filled with fluid.
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