Protect Your iPhone... & Your Brain?


Brain tumors can be unwieldy, and inconvenient, for the harried young business executive. With this in mind, a new product called the Pong is gaining media attention because it’s supposed to shield your brain from radiation emanating from your phone. Wired did a story on it in September, initially trashing it. In a later investigation, however, they used actual science and were surprised to discover that this Pong thing really does work: “Pong’s claims seem to be legitimate: Its case reduces the amount of radiation going from the iPhone into your head to a third of what it would be without the case. Contrary to what we initially wrote on the Pong case, it does appear to work.”

Of course, the jury is out on whether cell phone use definitely causes brain cancer, but the folks at Pong Research are betting you’re paranoid enough to give it some serious thought. In fact, they are willing to stoke the flames: a video featured on their site talks about how excessive sun tanning and smoking were, at one time, considered harmless as well. The implication being that cell phones are the Next Big Danger… and Pong Research has the cure.

I tested the case. I can’t attest to whether less radiation is entering my brain, but death-by-iPhone is pretty low on my list of concerns right now. The case uses a “chimney effect” to sweep radiation up and away from your head when you place a call. The photo featured in this article is the company’s “simulation” of how the radiation is kept away from your vulnerable moist brain. Brilliant marketing move to make radiation appear like a dangerous and out-of-control red hot flame.

I found the design of the rubber case to be a bit more clumsy than some other iPhone cases I have used in the past, although to its tremendous credit I dropped my phone on a hardwood floor recently, screen down, and it was unscathed.

That’s exactly what a great phone case should do: protect your phone from accidental damage. And if it keeps your gray matter from getting microwaved like a bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, well, that’s certainly a nice added feature.

Should you get a Pong? Personally, and this is just me, I would be far more worried about the imploding job market, any future copycat underwear bombers, and excessive eating or drinking. Your iPhone’s Miley Cyrus ringtone probably won’t be your death knell.

But with that said, Pong Research is offering free shipping until Jan. 15, and it is the perfect surprise gift for a hypochondriac friend with a naked iPhone. It comes in either black or a disturbing (radioactive, even?) bright green and costs $59.95. A small price to pay for peace of mind.

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