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Rugged Electronics and or Cases

My 2013 Galaxy Note 2 in its OtterBox Defender
"Protected on Both Sides"
"Tough" "Active" "Dust Resistant" "Waterproof" "Drop Tested"

Descriptive marking terms used to describe functional attributes of rugged consumer electronic designs (Pentax W90) that can stand up to challenging real world conditions.

Busted Screen / Water Damage ?

If you were to drop an unprotected $800 smartphone onto concrete a busted screen might result (hopefully you have the insurance policy). If you drop a "sensitive" consumer electronic into water it will likely short out, or at the very least trash the fragile Lithium Ion battery, lest you remove the battery immediately and place the whole lot into an airtight bin of dry rice for a few days to "dry the water out". Fear not the people at places like "I GSM Wireless" can repair your phone if it is out of warranty.

Megs 2009 Casio Exilim 5.1 Rugged Camera Phone
I was thinking about rugged electronics when examining the old BTR721B battery in Meg's Casio Exilim ruggedized camera phone. When Meg and I were first dating many years ago she explained why she picked this phone (good camera, works on Verizon, rugged construction), and over the years that initial conversation came back to light when I finger fumbled my old Canon A590is on some boulders at the top of Mt. Si, critically damaging the battery door (which I was later able to repair). My subsequent camera purchase was a Pentax W90/ a rugged waterproof folded optics camera that lives on in the glove-box of my car.

The Pentax W90 that needs bright light to take decently sharp
images because of the design compromise in the folded
"flat" non protruding zoom optics and tiny sensor.  

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a semi-rugged, somewhat water resistant smartphone that also had me thinking about "robust" mobile electronics. One other bit of Tech from the Green News, the Earl Tablet, also had me thinking about tough electronics.

"OtterBox" Can Help 

Putting sensitive electronics into a functional case helps to make the electronic device more durable and gives the device greater impact resistance with light improvements in rain/ splash rejection. OtterBox is well known for producing "rugged" cases for modern smartphones and I have used one daily for about 6 months now and love it.

I currently have my Galaxy Note 2 wrapped in an OtterBox (see first image in posting header) to enhance its overall resistance to impact ( drop/ crush) and sprinkle (rain) damage. This case enables me to throw my phone in "the backpack" in a way that approximates the way you can use an intrinsically rugged electronic device like Meg's "rugged" Casio Exilim. The handhold in the 2nd Gen Prius's driver door also happens to hold this package really well.

Protecting Your Investments

When people have to pay for their smartphones without carrier subsidies $550-$900, more people are going to flock to rugged cases like the"OtterBox" and I predict that mechanically enhanced smartphones are intrinsically smarter by design and will be seen as such by more consumers as they pay the full retail prices for smartphones.

Rugged Smarter by Design

Tough designs should become more popular, especially when you consider how people "use" their phones now, as tablet, cameras, gaming devices, gps units, ect. Smartphones are "held in distant hand positions" more often than our classical feature phones, and by virtue of their use cases are more likely to be "dropped" and subsequently "damaged" by impact with the ground or a pool of water.

Durable electronics are Smarter by Design ^^ while cost increases to make electronics more rugged are marginal in relation to the cost of the other technologies in consumer electronic devices. Consider the aforementioned OtterBox case solution. With a proper well designed and well made case you can make any consumer electronic device stronger and more resilient.

1 comment:

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