We all know the feeling: the moment your phone slips through your fingertips and, in slow motion, crashes violently to the floor. You stop, wait, then cringe while reaching down for the phone for that moment of truth. Is the screen cracked?
Twenty-five-year-old student Philip Frenzel at Germany’s Aalen University created a device meant to deploy and protect your phone as soon as it leaves your fingertips. His inspiration is a story familiar to us all when he permanently broke his phone after throwing his jacket over a banister – with the phone in its pocket.
But this “mobile airbag” for your phone isn’t really an airbag at all. Rather, an “Active Dampening” (AD) case uses eight curved, springy feet to dampen your phone’s fall. Normally tucked into the case, they launch as soon as the phone detects freefall to absorb the shock of impact. Unlike car airbags, the device isn’t a one-time-use: the owner only need pop the eight curly legs back into their holsters.
The invention won Frenzel the 2018 award from the German Society for Mechatronics, and already has its own website. Now patented, the ADcase will be heading to Kickstarter sometime this month.