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G-Form drops an iPod touch in a case from 100,000 feet, rivals Felix's antics (video)

G-Form drops an iPod touch in a case from 100,000 feet, rivals Felix's antics (video)
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|January 3, 2013 5:57 PM

Just because Felix Baumgartner set records by jumping from 128,000 feet doesn't mean he has a lock on stratospheric freefall stunts: see G-Form's latest video (after the break) as proof. In keeping with the tradition of launching a case line and then subjecting it to abuse on camera, the company dropped a new Xtreme iPhone 5 case from a balloon that reached 100,000 feet before it and its payload -- which actually happened to be a 5th gen iPod touch -- fell to the Nevada desert. Not surprisingly, that we're hearing about the story means the drop went as planned -- apart from needing some time to warm up after a plunge through -60F skies, the MP3 player emerged in fine shape. Is the freefall a publicity play that won't affect how anyone uses an Xtreme in real life? You bet. Still, it's one of the more dramatic drop tests we'll witness, and evidence the case can take some exceptional abuse; after all, it's not every day that our mobile devices reach terminal velocity.

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iPhone® 5 Case Protects Device From 100,000 Foot Free Fall From Stratosphere, Crashing Near Area 51

G-Form unveils its most extreme video yet to celebrate the launch of its new Xtreme® line of lightweight cases featuring molecular changing impact absorbing Reactive Protection Technology™ (CES 2013 Booth # 36206)

Providence, R.I. (January 3, 2012) – G-Form, a company known for its revolutionary impact absorbing Reactive Protection Technology (RPT) offering protection for both athletes and electronic devices, has gone to the extreme to introduce its new Xtreme® line of sleek protective cases. To show just how protective its thin and lightweight new iPhone® 5 cases are, the company tied one to a weather balloon for the ultimate drop test, a 100,000 foot free fall from the stratosphere.

While the case sent to space is designed for iPhone® 5, it can also accommodate the even more delicate iPod® touch 5, which the company used for this extreme demonstration. During its travels as the "world's smallest space capsule," the iPod® touch 5 endured -60° F temperature, high winds and maximum drop speeds, while recording video on its own camera.

During its 100,000 foot free fall, the iPod® touch reached terminal velocity and then slammed into a rocky mountainside near area 51 in the Nevada desert 41 miles from the launch site. G-form then recovered the device which, protected by the Xtreme® iPhone® 5 case, survived with zero damage and in perfect working condition.

G-Form's XTREME case is built with the company's proprietary Reactive Protection Technology™ (RPT™) which was introduced to the market last year. Now the newest Xtreme® line features a revolutionary 3-layer protective composite, which combines a tough polycarbonate outer shell, an inner RPT™ core, and a third shock-absorbing TPE layer. G-form did a similar stunt to demonstrate its RPT technology last year, protecting an iPad® in a free fall, but this year the company shows how its newest sleek and stylish composite iPhone® 5 case can now offer far more protection than competitors thicker and bulkier mobile cases.

This near-space drop commemorates the company's launch of a wide array of products that will debut at CES Las Vegas in early January 2013, including models for iPhone® 4, iPhone® 5, iPod® Touch 5, iPad®, iPad® Mini, and Samsung Galaxy S III.

"People are blown away that we could send a device guarded with solely our sleek iPhone case up to 100,000 feet and then let it free fall without worry," said Thom Cafaro, VP of Innovations, G-Form. "With an ordinary case people might worry if they simply dropped it off of a table or while getting out of their car. This test just proves how confident we are that the new XTREME line will protect against anything."

• Flight distance: landed 41 miles from launch
• Launch site: Near Area 51 in Nevada Desert
• Maximum height: Over 100,000 feet
• Temperature Endured: -60 degrees
• Retrieval: Used GPS tracking device and helicopter
• Time from Launch to Landing: 1hour and 45 minutes

The build of these cases delivers the next advancement in protection technology, offering proven resilient protection, but with a more minimal form factor than ever.

Click HERE to view the 100,000 foot drop. This was filmed on a camera tied to a weather balloon until 60,000 feet where it shut down due to the cold conditions. The rest of the journey was recorded by a sports action camera, which was sent along for the ride, until that too shut down about mid-way through the free fall, also due to the extreme cold temperatures.

XTREME Cases for iPhone 4 and 5, iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy S III will all be fully available to ship by January 2013 at www.g-form.com

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G-Form drops an iPod touch in a case from 100,000 feet, rivals Felix's antics (video)