At a glance, the Yellow Jacket looks like any other iPhone case, albeit a little bulkier – another of the numberless hollow exoskeletons for the most recognisable smartphone on the market. Flipping a small cover at the top of the Yellow Jacket down, however, reveals the sharp prongs of a 650,000-volt stun gun – making the case protective in more ways than one.
The Yellow Jacket is the brainchild of US Army veteran Seth Froome, who came up with the idea after he was robbed at gunpoint. Reasoning that the smartphone is generally among the items closest to hand for any potential victim of violent crime, Froome successfully completed a $100,000 Indiegogo campaign in the summer of 2012.
“We believe good people shouldn’t be taken advantage of, and we’re doing our part to help combat the violent crime epidemic,” the company’s official website says.
But the Yellow Jacket is more than an attachable stun-gun – by necessity, the case features an outsized battery pack, which can be used to power the iPhone. When plugged in, a switch toggles between charging the phone’s battery and the case. And, of course, it still protects the iPhone as a normal case would.
The Yellow Jacket emits less than one milliamp of current, according to the official site, making it non-lethal. It’s currently only available for the iPhone 4 and 4S, but the manufacturers are already taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 series and the Samsung Galaxy S4. It costs US$99, and is available in a range of colours.
The company will be exhibiting and demonstrating live at CES 2014, if you’re still curious – just make sure to stand well back.
by Jon Gold, Network World (US)