That second if you drop your cellphone and the whole lot stops. You possibly can hear your coronary heart beat — the thrill of the world round you is silenced — all cognition stops — you see as if in gradual movement the pirouette of your $700 piece of electronics towards the cement. How will it land? Will you get fortunate this time? Or is that this it? However when you had this case on it, you’d then see it spring horns and land with a jaunty bounce.
This “active damping” case, a bit like an airbag to your cellphone, is the brainchild of Philip Frenzel, an engineer at Aalen College in Germany. His concept received the highest award from the German Society for Mechatronics, which thought of tasks from college students all around the nation, and you may see him clarify its genesis in a video here.
Frenzel, like me, doesn’t like compromising his cellphone’s aesthetic with some ugly protecting shell, however he likes even much less the shattered countenance that inevitably outcomes from this aesthetic resolution.
Why not one thing that solely deploys when the cellphone is in peril, then? He set to work. The activation mechanism he arrived at early: sensors that detect when the cellphone is in free fall and activate the subsequent step.
However what was that step? In his tinkering, he initially considered putting in an precise airbag mechanism on the cellphone. However that, and a foam-based different, and some others, merely didn’t show sensible.
Lastly inspiration struck. As an alternative of one thing tender, why not one thing springy? Maybe… springs.
As you see above, what he arrived at is a set of eight skinny metallic curls that usually lie flat contained in the case. However when launched, they come out and curl up, defending the sides of the cellphone from impression and softening the blow significantly in contrast with a full cease on the concrete.
Once you choose up your (hopefully undamaged) cellphone, you merely fold the springs again into their holsters, priming them for his or her subsequent deployment.
After all, there’s the consideration that having these items deploy whereas the cellphone remains to be in your pocket could be at greatest embarrassing and at worst relatively painful. One assumes there are issues in place for that — tapping into the cellphone’s proximity sensor, as an illustration, to see if it’s in a pocket or bag.
Frenzel has already utilized for a patent, and even printed T-shirts with a catchy emblem. So this factor is virtually on the market. Subsequent cease: Kickstarter.