We’ve seen our fair share of pricey, sophisticated and well-equipped iPhone cases over the years, like this classic Retro Game Boy case for iPhone 7, 8 and X, this $4,000 Tesla-branded iPhone X charging case with its own built in solar charging panel, or this slightly more modest but still garish Louis Vuitton iPhone ‘trunk’ for $1,250.
Or, if none of those options suit your needs or interests, there’s also an upcoming case option on the block, and it’s (just about) ready to equip your iPhone 8 Plus with the equivalent of ultra-versatile X-Ray imaging powers.
Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t, if you just so happen to have $1,250 to dispose of..
According to CNET, this iPhone 8 Plus case, dubbed SWORD, is equipped with the unique ability to detect hidden weapons and explosive devices from a range of up to 40 feet away utilizing an advanced combination of “reflected sound waves and a database of pattern-matches” to analyze and interpret them.
“Royal Holdings’ SWORD smartphone attachment [is] a case that goes around either an iPhone 8 Plus or Pixel 2 XL and uses the phone’s audio sound waves as a sort of sonar to detect whether someone is carrying a gun, knife or explosive device,” CNET said, adding that, “The case includes an array of 18 antennas that can create an image profile based on the radio frequency waves” (using the SWORD companion app for iOS or Google Play.)
“The app can detect whether the person is carrying something dangerous by tapping into its database of weapons and explosive devices. The early tests showed no false positive readings,” said Barry Oberholzer, a former intelligence officer and founder of the Los Angeles, Calif.-based Royal Holdings, noting that his company is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the app’s weapons database overtime.
The SWORD system can also allegedly use facial recognition to match known mugshot photos against those caught in the wild using the app, allowing the case to essentially pinpoint a culprit or, at the least, identify an individual who may have been banned from [a place] on account of their unlawful use of weapons or explosives.
While the technological concept of using ultrasonic sound waves to create 3D images is not new, this particular application of the technology is, and definitely pushes the bounds pretty far and beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.
“We have developed a product that can be proactive and actually save innocent lives,” Oberholzer said in an interview. “That’s our primary goal.”
And though the case won’t actually be palpable in prototype form until August or begin shipping until sometime next year, so far the response has been overwhelming, Oberholzer says, with over 8,000 orders for the $1,250 a pop iPhone case already submitted from multiple independent security companies, casinos and “a very large school district.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), too, has expressed an interest in these cases — though we’d encourage those who are seriously interested to just hang tight for a bit and wait to see how this thing works in the real-world!