OFF TOPIC: Living on the edge: Specialist iPhone cases for Surveillance, Survival and Safety

One of the trainees from the last Circom Mobile Journalism course recently posted a comment on our Facebook group about an experience he had when shooting with his iPhone in heavy Snow in Sweden. He was on a shoot for his TV station SVT and had an issue with the P2 cards he had with him so he decided to use his iPhone instead and he described how within “seconds everything froze, the iPhone rebooted several times and the snow kept blowing directly into the lens” which ultimately meant it was totally unusable. I had experienced the other extreme in June while working with AlJazeera in Qatar – the daytime temperatures were 47º+ and within 10 mins in direct sunlight the phone showed an overheating warning:

I should point out that the iPhone behaving like this may be extremely annoying but it is well within spec. This doc outlines the iPhone operational temperature tolerances: 0º to 35º Celcius.

In spite of several hours trawling the internet I still haven’t found even one example of an iPhone case that deals with the issue of extreme temperatures.
Sure, its an absolutely niche market but it exists nonetheless. There are LOTS of Extreme Endurance cases like the Otterbox DefenderGriffin Survivor, and even ones with integral battery like the Mophie JuicePak Pro Outdoor but none that address extreme weather/temperature specifically.


Anyway thats a random preamble for this post. While I was searching as many possible keywords I could imagine I stumbled upon a few cases that caught me by surprise. So, as I’ve never looked at the weird and wonderful world of non-broadcast iPhone cases I decided to share these with you….

Up first, a case that debuted at CES this week and one I think has huge potential in the Surveillance and Emergency Services areas;


FLIRONE_ViewE  FLIRONE_PersonalSafety

The FLIR ONE is a case for your iPhone 5s that turns your phone into a thermal imaging camera. The potential uses are substantial both from a surveillance and safety point of view, particularly for anyone working in emergency services and search and rescue or even just if you are working in a hostile environment and want to ensure your personal safety. Here’s a little blurb from the press release:

“Using special sensor technology that was originally developed for military night vision, FLIR ONE converts heat, which is emitted from every object on earth, into color images. These color images allow users to not only see in the dark, but to also observe differences in temperature of fractions of a degree. FLIR ONE’s powerful capacity to augment human vision opens up a new world of possibilities for consumers. In addition to seeing in the dark and detecting invisible heat sources, the device helps users see through smoke…. “

For more information visit the FLIR website

Next UP an iPhone case that packs a hell of a punch:



YellowJacket for 5/5s also debuted at CES this year and its a pretty novel personal safety device. Its basically a case that has a TAZER StunGun built-in. From the images I’ve seen the case looks similar in size to the FLIR or the Mophie JuicePak Pro but to the best of my knowledge this is a first in iPhone cases. The battery pack doubles as an extra battery for your iPhone but I like that the stun-gun section is easily detachable meaning you don’t have to have it with you ALL the time.

From the PR sheet: “Yellow JacketTM is a non-lethal, low amperage device that is temporary and not fatal…Yellow JacketTM will cause mild to serious pain and definite discomfort to the person it is used on. A stun gun shock’s severity depends greatly on where it is applied on the body and how long it is applied.”

For more information visit the YellowJacket website

*NOTE: To the best of my knowledge StunGuns are classed as concealed weapons in Ireland and are therefore illegal here.

Case number 3: Another personal safety device case: SPRAYTECT

main1 spraytect_firingcloseup_black-phone_crop

The Spraytect case is basically a small pepper spray canister strapped to the back of an iPhone. Not much more I can add to that really but if you want more information -Visit the Spraytect website

*NOTE: To the best of my knowledge Pepper Spray is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.

Finally, this is not a new one but interesting nonetheless…The TASKONE(iPhonknife) More info from the TaskLab website

Maybe just me but the cutting the steak etc are all borderline hilarious but for the closet James Bond in you all…maybe?

Seriously though, think I’d still prefer a Leatherman.



About vjmentor
Innovation Lead, RTÉ | VJ & MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Trainer -Circom Regional | Photographer | HDSLR shooter| Views are strictly personal, not those of my employer.

One Response to OFF TOPIC: Living on the edge: Specialist iPhone cases for Surveillance, Survival and Safety

  1. Pingback: Fluffy Links – Monday January 20th 2014 « Damien Mulley

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