Since it's conception, the smartphone has become such an integral part of daily life that many don't know what they would do without it. However, there are still instances when having your smartphone accessible just isn't practical or safe. But now, thanks to the invention of two members of the Mason Innovation Lab, people will have to say goodbye to their beloved phones even less frequently.
Scott Bauer, a graduate student concentrating on social entrepreneurship at George Mason University, and his friend turned business partner, Jimmy Rogers, created OnYou, a magnetic smartphone case designed for runners, cyclists, gym-goers, and other active people.
Rogers, who Bauer describes as the "brainchild" of their invention, came up with the idea for their invention originally as a homemade solution to a common problem–where to put his phone on bike rides around Washington, D.C.
"If he put it in his backpack, he couldn't access it during long waits at cross streets. If he put it in his pocket, it would–on multiple occasions–fall out and hit the pavement," explains Bauer.
So, what to do with the phone?
Although there are several mobile phone armband cases on the market, they are all virtually identical. And they have identical problems according to Bauer, "They're uncomfortable and trap your phone to your arm. OnYou is remarkably different."
The magnetic backing inside OnYou's compression sleeve is strong enough that you don't have to worry about it falling off during a run or cycle but still enables the phone to magnetically attach and detach to the case effortlessly. Now runners can access their phones to switch songs or check a notification without missing a stride. In addition to the magnet, the compression sleeve itself is not your typical armband. Not only is the material moisture wicking and breathable, but it fastens "a bit like a tourniquet"–eliminating pressure points and sliding down the arm.
OnYou is currently available via its Kickstarter campaign, which is running through November 19, 2014. Bauer contributes OnYou's current and any future success to many others who have helped in getting the product off the ground.
"The School of Business and the Mason Innovation Lab at George Mason have been incredibly helpful both in terms of guidance and collaboration," says Bauer.
He also adds that David Miller, director of the Mason Innovation Lab, was instrumental in helping the group to narrow its focus and get things moving.
"We're incredibly fortunate to have amazing people helping us, many of them professors at George Mason and members of Mason's business community. Any success we have on our Kickstarter, or as a business in general, will be due to the contributions of many and we're extremely grateful for the continued support."