These days, adding security features to cell phones is usually old news, but for the case of the Halo™ anti-theft system, maybe not. Being marketed as “The World’s Most Advanced iPhone Security Device”, the Halo is an all-in-one security gadget concept for the iPhone 5. Aside from lacking an actual defense weapon, it basically has one of everything else that an anti-theft phone case could possibly offer, including several features that are programmable via the Halo App.
Halo iPhone Case
The main selling-point of the Halo revolves around the device’s integrated proximity sensor, which activates the built-in alarm system when the phone is separated from the “Halo Ring”—a keychain-like device that stays with the user when the phone is snatched-away. Naturally, the Halo is useless unless the owner is wearing the ring while holding/using their phone, as the proximity sensor and concurrent alarm will not activate if everything is taken in one fell swoop. Nevertheless, if you happen to have valuable data on your phone, then wearing your iPhone around your finger might not be such a set-back—and frankly, many consumers who are willing to sacrifice the width and style of their iPhone 5 for the Halo, might not care so much about the added hassle of wearing the Halo Ring. Fortunately, you can still use your phone if you are not wearing the ring, so you have the option to use the main security feature only in those circumstances where you would likely need it (like on the subway).
In addition to its main anti-theft functionality, the Halo also includes features capable of enhancing those already integrated into the iPhone 5, such as an external battery which powers the Halo, and doubles to extend the iPhone’s battery life up to forty-percent (estimated). The device also includes a comparatively-large 20mm internal speaker and integrated powered-amplifier, which it uses to resound its ear-shattering 115-decibel alarm (roughly equivalent to the intensity of a rivet gun), and also to increase the max sound output of the iPhone itself. The device will also feature an external hazard button for spontaneous emergencies where the user might find it useful to draw attention toward a situation. If that isn’t enough, the design also features several built-in LEDs to advertise various push notifications—convenient for when the phone is face-down.
One of the neater aspects of the Halo design is that the physical hardware is designed to communicate with the corresponding Halo app that allows the user to change settings and essentially program the device according to their own needs, desires and lifestyle. The app will theoretically allow the user to adjust all sorts of emergency-scenario settings including video-capture, coordinate plotting (via GPS tracking) and specialized auto-texting capabilities, among others.
For obvious reasons, the Halo is not easy to remove from an iPhone. The design binds-together around the phone chassis with sets of torque screws, in that respect making it similar to the more-convenient Phillips closure system present in many EXOvault iPhone cases, known for their rigidity and needing to be “bolted-together”. Despite apparent attention given to the ergonomics of the Halo’s design, it does not seem like it would be as intuitive or comfortable for a left-handed person to use—unless a mirrored lefty-version is in-the-works, but that is not evident at this time. It’s also a bit of a bummer that the case does not offer complete protection, as it leaves some sizeable areas of the iPhone chassis exposed. Nevertheless, it really is a unique device, and certainly has very few contenders that can offer even some of its many features in one small package.
The Halo was originally developed on a budget awarded from crowd-sourced donations. The device has recently been posted to Indiegogo, in hopes that its London-based development team will be able to raise enough funds to mass-produce the device, which currently is not yet available to consumers. There is just under one month left for the Halo team to raise $70k, but if you are interested in owning a Halo case, then you should consider acting-early during this current fundraising period, as you could get an “Early Bird” special and scoop one up for as little as $25 (if they reach the goal and ultimately produce it). Currently, the team is planning to have the device ready to ship by summer, 2014. The regular post-release retail price is estimated to be $99 USD. For the latest updates on the device, you can keep-up with the Halo team via their Facebook page.
(All images via Halo)