You know the scenario: Girl walks home alone at night, encounters a stranger danger, and protects herself with a portable pepper spray before making a run to safety. While it might be a good idea to have such protective tools handy, would you go as far as having it attached to your iPhone? Swiss manufacturer Piexon thinks you should. This is certainly on my Top Ten of all time stupid devices.
Meet the SmartGuard iPhone case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The durable design not only aims to keep your phone out of harm’s way, but the case comes with a pepper spray dispenser which you can detach to use during an emergency situation. This included formula of pepper spray is a ten percent concentration of oleoresin capsicum, derived from cayenne pepper plants to deliver the hottest sting to your perpetrators. The spray is capable of shooting within a five foot range, making it a practical item for the everyday users looking for extra protection. The SmartGuard case’s slot for this pepper spray canister also automatically locks the can in to prevent accidental discharge in your pockets and bags. Yeah, right.
The SmartGuard is one of those ideas that only work in theory, but in reality we can foresee a lot of terrible things that can go wrong. The first thing we noticed is that the canister and its holder adds an extra bit of width to the iPhone, likely making the grip off balance and harder to use for apps and texting alike.
The canister is also conveniently placed by the phone’s camera so there goes your chances of shooting pictures of your friends without them thinking the can’s going to shoot them first. Naw, zap 'em with spray first, then take the photo.
While the case advertises a safety mechanism lock for the pepper spray can, we’re not sure it’s childproof enough to prevent kids from removing the can out of the case, and if the child is successful then it’s all downhill from there. (You will also have to make sure the vial is nicely cleaned up after use because if any residue is left behind, having pepper spray in the air that close to your face, eyes and nose is pure suicidal).
And if you’re living in the US or will be driving there any time soon, you can plan to leave this SmartGuard case behind as state laws require pepper sprays to have an oleoresin capsicum concentration below two percent to be legal for everyday carry-on.
Speaking of carry-ons, pepper spray is also not safe for flights, so you’ll have to toss it out at security check or not bring the case at all before your air travels.
With the case cutting you back $35 a pop plus $20 for every replacement pepper spray vials, is the dual protection investment worth all the hassle?
Somehow I can't imagine showing a thief some photos before I spray...but maybe I'm just marking territory. Save your cash and buy a book instead. Home. Safe. Warm.
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