The driver's airbag is designed to reduce chest and rib injuries by using an innovative tether system that pulls in the lower section of the airbag to reduce the impact of the airbag on the driver's chest and ribs when involved in a frontal crash.
The front passenger should not feel left out because the passenger airbag features adaptive venting technology which, depending on seat position, will vent away some of the gas from the inflator, thereby reducing its force.
The Focus' side airbags also have venting to help out smaller passengers while larger passengers, such as yours truly, will block the vents with their shoulders and thereby create a higher pressure in the airbag.
Ford says that this new safety new technology will appear on other Ford vehicles in the next few years. Included with the article is a slideshow explaining in detail how the airbags work. There is also a video of the airbag in action. As a bonus, there is a video linked here that shows the 2012 Ford Focus driving around.
When we were shown the all-new Focus at a preview event back in December of 2009, I asked one of the Ford representatives if the Focus will equal the Chevrolet Cruze's 10 airbag count. All I could get out of them at the time was "It will be competitive." At this point, I am still unclear what the exact airbag count of the 2012 Focus will be.