have been prevented by this?
Maybe not; that iPhone looks like it was destroyed during a crime of passion.
Anyways, back to that second photo. Researchers at Clemson University have devised a bulk production method for coiled carbon nanotubes. The tiny springs are "smaller than human hair by a thousand times," yet provide shock protection when bunched together in sheets.
What does this mean for consumers? It means you could conceivably buy a thin sheet of the stuff, similar to that film that comes on your new cell phone's screen, and stick it onto an object for a layer of effective but ultra-thin cushioning. I will also stuff a couple dozen of these sheets down the back of my pants for the next time I go snowboarding.
[Top photo by magerleagues]