Whenever someone tells me that they’ve never dropped their smartphone, I just react in a similar fashion as if they told me that they don’t think their computer’s hard drive will die. You silly rabbit; it’s going to happen. I WILL happen. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. This is why you should AT LEAST get a phone case (or even better, a “rugged” one) and a glass protective screen to take the shock damage from the phone after a drop. But after one drop too many, you;ll likely be left with a broken phone and an expensive repair bill (unless you have insurance). While Sony and Amazon (and other similar tech companies) have filed patents for car airbag-inspired phone case systems, an engineering student from Germany’s Aalen University created a phone protector that LITERALLY springs into action just before the handset hits the ground.
The student inventor, Philip Frenzel, was recognized by the German Mechatronics Society, who were so taken by the design that they awarded him a national prize. His design involves a slim case with four pronged legs within each corner. A sensor in the case detects when the phone is falling, then automatically (and very quickly) ejects the prongs to prevent any part of the phone from touching the ground. Plus, the pronged legs can be reset by simply pushing them back into the case, or leave them out for impromptu ninja-star throwing practice.
Frenzel plans on starting a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for his creation within the following month. Should he receive sufficient backing, then those who have a habit of fumbling their smartphones like they had fingers coated with (or even made of ) butter.