iPhones are pretty expensive devices, representing prime targets for some of the more unsavory characters within society. The latest cell phones are typically bloated with a range of anti-theft features, and many downloadable apps offer similar capabilities. However, a company called YellowJacket is now peddling iPhone cases, loaded with a built-in stun gun to deter would-be thieves.
The stun gun operates through an internal battery and dispenses 650 kilovolts of electricity; this is the same voltage fired from a regular-sized stun gun.
The company was launched by Seth Froom, after he himself was robbed. Speaking to ABC News, Froom described how he wished he was able to utilize his own cell phone to fend off the crooks. Now, he is finally shipping what he considers to be the solution:
“Really in that moment when the violent crime does occur, we want to give our users a way to escape that situation. We want to give them a preventative step to where they don’t become the victim in the first place.”
The device offers a number of safety features to prevent “accidental discharge” – after all, inadvertently zapping yourself with 650 kilovolts of electricity on a romantic dinner date, for example, would leave an unfortunate lasting impression. The device sports a safety switch, as well as a protective cover to conceal the electrodes, guaranteeing the owner’s safety during everyday usage.
The case is also incredibly durable, made from polycarbonate ABS plastic material, and can withstand quite a beating. What’s more, the rechargeable battery inside the cover can be used to double the life of your iPhone.
Apple’s fingerprint scanning technology not preventative
Meanwhile, Apple has also enhanced its own security features, implementing an innovative fingerprint sensor. On the new iPhone 5S unlocking the device is now as simple as placing your finger over the home button, and allowing the sensor to detect your fingerprint pattern.
However, this has led to concerns over whether Apple’s new tech is actually reliable. Many are asking whether it’s possible for thieves to access and steal biometric data. Defending their position, Apple claim the information to be encrypted, precluding the possibility that such data could become compromised. On the other hand, many have concerns that the fingerprints could simply be “lifted” from an object the cell user has touched, and used as an alternative means of accessing the device.
Although Froom admires Apple’s new security measures, he maintains such advances will not serve any preventative measure.
However, Froom’s iPhone cases have not been met with unanimous acclaim. James Pasco, the executive director of Steve Young Law Enforcement Legislative Advocacy Center, has already denounced the application of regular stun guns.
Speaking to ABC News, Pasco has concerns about how the devices are regulated, and believes they could exacerbate dangerous situations. Furthermore, the use of stun guns remains illegal in many American cities and states, prohibiting the blanket use of YellowJacket’s cell phone covers.
The case, which has already been sold for iPhone 4 and 4S models, is soon to be available for the 5C and 5S, with preorders likely to be accepted within the coming weeks.
However, the cases come with a hefty price tag. With a retail value of $140, these are some pretty expensive iPhone cases. What do you think to YellowJacket embedding stun guns within their new range of iPhone covers? Are these devices a worthwhile safety precaution, or an accident waiting to happen?
By: James Fenner