Along with the rise of smartphone adoption; faster processors; bigger, glossier touchscreens; and all the apps you can shake a stick at has come an unfortunate rise in crime. In December, a man on a bus in San Francisco was stabbed in the chest and robbed of his iPhone; in January, a thief shot a Bronx man in the back when he refused to hand over his phone; and this month (February), the cops have been searching for suspects in a string of iPhone robberies along the N-train in Queens and Manhattan.
So, what’s a cautious, tech-loving smartphone user to do? Well, one option is the recently released SmartGuard: an iPhone case that comes equipped with its own tube of pepper spray. Perhaps the first case to weaponize the popular smartphone, the SmartGuard is made by pepper-spray maker Piexon with the rationale that if your pepper spray is attached to your smartphone, you’ll never leave home without it.
For those of you who might feel a bit…wary putting a canister of pepper spray next to your face when you make a call, never fear: the SmartGuard’s pepper spray canister is in a locked position while attached to the phone. In fact, in order to use the spray, you’ll have to detach the canister from the case, then depress the plunger.
Also, you may want to check with your local law enforcement agency before arming yourself with this case: Some jurisdictions may have restrictions on who can use pepper spray or similar self-defense sprays.
The canister holds about six seconds worth of spray, and replacement canisters run about $28 each. The case itself will set you back $55, and comes in black, white, and pink.