Everybody drops their smartphone at some point or another. No two falls are the same, I've known phones that shatter from just falling off a lap at the dinner table. Phone cases do the best they can to protect our phones from the world but sometimes the drop can be too much and the repair bill costly to say the least.
Tech firms since have been looking into how to better protect our devices from breaking on impact. Companies such as Amazon and Sony filed patents outlining designs for miniaturized airbag systems that inflate when the system detects the phone is falling.
But those ideas remain as plans sketched out on paper, that is until a German engineering student at Aalen University put it on himself to design a fully working phone protector that springs into action just before the phone hits the ground.
The German Mechatronics society was so taken by the design that it awarded the student, Philip Frenzel, a national prize for his efforts.
The device compromises a slim case with four prongs located inside each corner. When the sensor detects the phone is falling, the prongs automatically deploy, preventing any part of the phone from hitting the ground.
A notable advantage over other airbag systems is the device can be quickly reset by pushing the prongs back inside the case. The prongs have actually been designed to be quite springy in order to absorb the shock when the phone hits the ground. Even though they look more brutal than they actually are.
Frenzal says that next month he plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for his creation, which, if it receives sufficient backing, could prove popular with those who have a habit of constantly dropping their phone.