Monday, September 20, 2010

Safe Carry

Standard phone and iPod cases, above
Cases with installed safety clips

I have for years carried a cell phone. Recently, I was given an iPod, and I usually haul that around, too. My preference is for belt holsters, since I'm used to that with guns and knives. I have, with various phones, and now the other gizmo, tried different kinds of cases. (I tend to wear T-shirts and jeans or shorts, and don't have enough pockets for the electronica, given I have other stuff in there I don't want scraping against the screens, so it needs to be belted.)

Mostly, the holsters made for cell phones and iPods, are, let's be honest here, crappy.

They are, in a word, insecure.

Most of these come with a handy-dandy convenient little plastic clips with which to attach them to your belt. Better ones have metal clips. Some of the clips swivel.

Most of these hand-dandy convenient little plastic or metal clips aren't worth pink pelican poop. Nudge the holsters at an angle and they pop right off your belt. I'm not talking about climbing-hand-over-hand up-a-rock-face-and-banging-against-the-crag nudge, or diving off the roof and doing a parkour roll or anything, but something as active as getting in or out of your car, or sliding into in a restaurant booth, or bending down to pet the dog -- all of which have been worth a de-belted cell phone or iPod for Yours Truly.

I used to think it was just me, then I read the stats about how many cell phones get lost every year. Apparently, it is about one in three. Somewhere upwards of seventy million of the little bastards every annum in the USA alone, least for the last year we have stats.

I mean, you think that would be a need somebody would fill, wouldn't you?

So, I wonder: Why can't the guys who make these holsters put a safety strap on them? Yeah, you can get a high-end leather model from Australia that comes with a metal ring onto which you can hook a clip if you want, costs as much as a lot of phones. There is a police badge-style D-ring clip that is relatively secure, I think maybe Motorola makes a case using these for about nineteen bucks, but it's for small phones, won't fit an iPod.

Certainly not any of the case suppliers for my local Costco, Target, Office Depot, or Best Buy Electronics make any such, and I know because I have looked.

It's not that I'm a belt-and-suspenders guy, but come on, how much harder and more expensive would it be? I mean, if I reach for my little electronic toy that cost a couple-three hundred bucks, I want it to be there. Having just lost -- and fortunately found -- one recently, this seems to be a legitimate concern. Certainly be willing to pay an extra five dollars for insurance.

But -- no.

Fortunately, having gotten the knot-tying merit badge, I came up with my personal solution.

In the first picture above, are three typical belt clips. In the second image, my additions. One is a boot lace with hangman's knots on both ends that loop over the phone's clip and onto a dog collar clip. The other has a clothes pin-style clip, from a name badge. Both of these can be easily attached to a belt loop, so if the clip slides off the belt -- which it will -- the holster will dangle from the safety line. It's happened dozens of time with the phone, and twice since I installed the iPod addition a few days ago.

Maybe I should set-up shop. Put up an infomercial: Lose your cell phone? Try Perry's Safety Clip Belt Holster! Protect your privacy! Guard your portable porno ... !


Travis said...

Or you could just carry it in your manpurse!

steve-vh said...

Mushtaq has been using something very similar (and simple) for some time now.
Me? I purposely chose a phone slim enough to slip securely in a pocket, never had a problem. I'm annoyed by those who display theirs in a manner similar to the volunteer firefighters (don't ger me wrong, noble work)of days past who had to prominently display their radio, phone and pager so much so that they had a peculiar geeky, gang walk; hip out.

Justin said...

That's my guess for the cutoff age of people who carry their cell phones in these type of cases. The younger of us just put them in our pockets.

For example, my wife's father used to sport a hip holster for a phone that folds out with a fully functional keyboard, even though he has text-messaging disabled on the phone. He recently upgraded to a Droid; not sure if he's still holstering.

Steve Perry said...

Probably 'cause us old guys have stuff in our pockets and no room for more stuff. Between keys, knives, pens, coins, and misc. other crap, I don't have space for a phone. And even if I did, I dunno if I'd want one those I'm-just-happy-to-see-you lumps in my pants pocket.

Even so, there are more of us over fifty than under still, so there should be a market until the baby boomers start kicking off in droves.

Steve Perry said...

I seem to have lost my manpurse, Trav. Maybe I could borrow one of yours ...

Travis said...

I'll knit you a fresh one later!

The other option was "Batbelt"