Image: The active dampening (AD) phone case, patented by German student Philip Frenzel (Preview Online)

INTERNATIONAL - The era of cracked screens may be coming to an end sooner than we think after a German engineering student, Philip Frenzel, created a prototype device called "the mobile airbag", a protective case that will protect your screen and phone when it falls. 

The case senses when your phone is in free fall and releases metal prongs to protect it from damage.

Frenzel is a student at Aalen University in Germany and he won an award from the German Mechatronics Society with the mobile airbag.

Currently a prototype, he expects to launch the device on Kickstarter next month along with Peter Mayer, another student at the university, according to the German publication Preview Online.

How it works:

The case can detect when the phone is falling and protract springs to make the phone bounce when it hits the ground, which should prevent any scratches or cracks on flat surfaces.

Once you pick the phone back up, you just fold the springs back in. 

However, these cases often come with a price: They add significant bulk to devices that are typically carried around in pockets all day. 

While the case seems like a good solution for drops on flat surfaces, it doesn't look like it would prevent scratches or cracks if the phone fell onto a jagged edge or anything that is uneven. 

It's not for sale yet, but Frenzel has already acquired a patent for the device. 





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