When former military police officer Seth Froom became the victim of an armed robbery it prompted him to create one of the most interesting iPhone cases to hit the market to date. This case, known as the Yellow Jacket, not only offers protection for your phone, it also has the potential to protect your personal safety and well-being thanks to its built-in 650 kV stun gun.
Froom actually had a stun gun and firearms in his house on the night he was attacked. However, all he had within reach when the armed robber entered his home was his cellphone. The stun gun he owned was designed - for the means of easy concealment - to look like a cellphone. After his ordeal, he looked from the stun gun to the phone case and an idea was born. Froom took his creation to crowd funding site Indiegogo and has now raised more than $85K of US$100,000 goal and plans to go into production.
The Yellow Jacket features its own built-in battery which provides the juice necessary to fend off any would-be attacker. The battery also acts as a backup for the iPhone, granting up to 20-hours of additional standby time. Safety was a major concern for founders Seth Froom and Sean Simone. With this in mind, they implemented two layers of protection to prevent users from accidentally shocking themselves while trying to make a phone call; a safety switch that must be engaged before the device is capable of stunning and an electrode cap designed to prevent accidental physical contact.
The creators also had to think about how quickly someone under attack would be able to pull the device out and use it on an assailant. It only takes a couple of seconds to flip back the electrode cap and hit the safety switch. When compared to the time it would take for someone to reach into their bag and pull out pepper spray or a standalone stun gun, this could be the difference between life and death.
As would be expected this device will make your phone a little bulkier. It requires its own battery to deliver the 650 kV of stunning power and this battery adds some weight and size to your device. According to the Indiegogo page, the device is comparable in size to an Otter Box Defender. The case is 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, adds 3/8 of an inch (0.9 cm) in height and virtually nothing in width. The case weighs in at about 4 ounces (113 g), which almost doubles the weight of the iPhone. But there's bound to be a tradeoff for adding a stun gun to the equation ... and it's still a lightweight when compared to Marudai's bullet-stopping monster.
The first run of Yellow Jacket cases are designed for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but Froom and Simone are looking at making Yellow Jackets for the upcoming iPhone 5, the HTC Evo and the Samsung Galaxy. One thing to note before contributing to the campaign is that the device may not be legal where you live, and you'll need to check your local regulations before purchasing a stun gun, whether it's attached to an iPhone or not.
The final version of the Yellow Jacket case is expected retail for US$125 and be available in a choice of black, white or pink.