Smartphones are a lot of things, but what they are not is inexpensive, nor are they indestructible. So dropping one, leaving it on the roof of your car, etc., etc., can be an expensive mishap, whether you’ve bought the phone outright or on a contract.
In the last five years or so there has been a growing market in impact-protective cases for smartphones, and recently a company called Tech21 has begun selling its range of cases in Australia.
The heavy protection work in Tech21’s cases is done by a substance called D3O, with support work to further minimise harm carried out by polymers used in the production of bulletproof glass.
D3O might look and feel like orange silly putty, but the construction of its molecules work to dampen the shock induced non-smartphone-friendly mishaps. D3O was born of application in the military, but is also now used in ski equipment, sports shoes, protective clothing for motorcyclists and law enforcement, and more.
Here’s two videos to show you the cases and the science behind Tech21’s range of impact protection cases:
While that video is pretty much just an advertisement, the video below from a company selling protective clothing goes into more detail about how the D3O substance works:
At present there is a Tech21 product for iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Xperia Z and the HTC One.