The problem with Apple’s iPad is that it looks so … delicate. It may be sleek and slim and versatile, but there’s all that screen on the front just waiting to break if it’s dropped. Unsurprisingly, the market for protective sleeves has boomed almost as fast as sales for the iPad itself.
To stand above the crowd, a Rhode Island company called G-Form hired some skydivers and asked them to jump out of a plane, carrying a couple of iPads inside its Extreme Edge and Extreme Portfolio sleeves. At an altitude of 1,300 feet, the parachutists let go of the iPads, hoping they would hit the runway below.
The result? Well, as publicity stunts go, it was a success. The video on YouTube has had half a million hits so far.
“The very first videos we did weren’t meant to sell iPad cases,” said Lily Wray, G-Form’s director of marketing. “We were just trying to show how the technology worked.” The cases, she said, are made with “rate-dependent smart material,” which feels soft if you touch it gently but is designed to harden in case of real impact.
The company mostly makes athletic gear — knee pads, elbow pads and the like, said Wray — “and we decided, why not apply it to other things?”
Wray insisted, when we asked, that there were no iPad disasters in the 1,300-foot fall that didn’t make it online. The iPads, though, never hit the runway as hoped, since a tablet computer, even in a padded case, does get caught in air currents.
What’s next? Watch out for falling copies of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.