Who doesn’t feel stressed when their smartphone falls on the floor? I think everyone, without exception, hates having a cracked screen or losing the use of their phone for good. Even though protective phone cases are used to minimize the damage, they cannot totally protect the phone.
These heavy and ineffective phone covers persuaded Philip Frenzel, a German student in Aalen University, to design a genius phone case that deploys when the phone is accidently dropped. This revolutionary invention fully protects the phone, without letting it touch the floor. It operates by unfolding from the corners of a relatively-thin case when sensors detect that the phone is in free fall.
Frenzel’s system is simple but very innovative: once the free fall is detected, the blue dampeners in the picture are pushed into their position thanks to metal springs. They actually help absorb the shock resulting from the fall and most importantly protect the screen, and the phone’s inner components. The dampeners can easily be pushed back into the case, making the phone totally reusable. As there are eight dampeners, the smartphone is fully protected regradless of which side it falls on.
Since the “mobile airbag” is based on a dampening system, Frenzel decided to call it “AD Case”, where “AD” stands for “Active Damping”.
Here is a video that shows how the mobile airbag works:
At first, Frenzel designed the “airbag” activation system with sensors that detect the free fall of the phone. Then, he thought about creating an actual airbag or a foam-based alternative. However, these solutions were proved to be unpractical. That’s why Frenzel thought about creating a firm system (springs) instead of a soft one.
Thanks to his invention, Philip Frenzel was awarded the National Mechatronics Prize 2018 by the German Mechatronics Society. Frenzel has also registered for a patent to protect his invention .
I’m pretty sure that smartphone users can’t wait to see “AD Cases” hitting the shelves. That way, nobody will have to worry about accidently dropping their phone. And who knows? Perhaps a similar airbag system might be designed for other sensitive devices like cameras.
Mariem, Consultant, Leyton France
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