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CES: American-Made, Industrial-Strength Smartphone and Tablet Cases (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the if-it-look-tough-it-must-be-tough dept.

Iphone 57

Even the most loving fathers tend to get upset when their kids destroy "...VCRs, DVD players, a Nintendo Wii, a Sony PS3, [and] numerous mobile phones." With smart phones costing lots more than older stupid phones, and most tablets costing even more, Greg Pilling decided to make aluminum and plexiglass smartphone and tablet cases strong enough to be, if not childproof, at least child-resistant. Since he owned an auto parts manufacturing company in Tucson, AZ, it was no big deal for him. So now he has SASCASE as a second business, and can make you a case for almost any kind of mobile device you might own. His cases look plenty tough, and they aren't cheap. But if you want to save money and make your own, Greg says plans for all cases he makes are open source (even though they aren't on his website yet). Also on the open source front, he is working on an open source "ruggedized" tablet he hopes to bring to market "in the $300-$400 range" to compete with the Panasonic 7” Toughpad that runs more like $1100.

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57 comments

American made is not a selling point (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43008793)

"American made" is not a selling point, it's bigotry. Idiots.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year ago | (#43008943)

American made means "Not made in a developing country by near-slave-wage employees."

I'm against protectionism, but bringing manufacturing back to the west is not a bad thing.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43009031)

American made means "Not made in a developing country by near-slave-wage employees."

US mininum wages and the laws which provide exceptions to them look like near-slave-wage to me.

Re:American made is not a selling point (4, Insightful)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year ago | (#43009183)

You're not looking very hard at what employees in China are making manufacturing these goods then.

But fine, go with the environmental standards, safety standards, other working conditions. While not perfect, manufacturing laws in the US, Australia, Canada, western Europe, etc, are significantly better than in developing countries.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43018503)

Then why not Canadian made?

Laws in Canada, labor laws included (or is it Labour laws up there?) are generally better for the worker than they are in the US. So, if the goal of purchasing an "American Made" product is to support better conditions for the people making it, why not boycott products made in the US and buy Canadian? Shouldn't we be looking for "Made in Canada" instead, if this is really about that? And this is not just Canada. Minimum Wage in France is higher than anywhere else in the "western world" (a term that has surprisingly little relevance anyway, but I'll go with it) and, within the city limits of Paris, it's actually illegal to work more than 35 hours a week in any industry except Food Service. So, shouldn't we just buy products from Paris at the exclusion of every other place on earth?

What I love about this is that people are trying to rationalize it. It is beyond illogical that we live in a country with a Capitalist economy, yet we shun capitalism when it tramples the rights of the worker. CAPITALISM ALWAYS TRAMPLES THE RIGHTS OF THE WORKER BY ITS VERY NATURE!!! You want an economy that respects the worker? Socialism is your ticket. And I support it. Have a look at Estonia. In 1973, only 14% of their nation had power. When the iron curtain fell, they became a Democracy, but retained their Socialist economy. They have votes, a president, a parlament, and freedom of speech and the press just like we do. Know what else they have? The 4th highest average wage in the world, 45 GIGABIT internet to every home, and the largest EV charging grid on the planet. In 40 years, Estonia has become a veritable paradise, and America, under the banner of unrestricted Capitalism, has crumbled - both literally in our roads and bridges, and figuratively in our intellect and stature with the world. The only first-class product the USA exports any more are Cars and Death, and if Bush and friends had stayed in power, it'd just have been Death by now.

No no, don't by American. Show DC what you really want our country to be. Buy Canadian.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021801)

Fuck Canada.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43009167)

Then he has ZERO chance meeting his price point.

finding a board fab house and Chip supplier in the USA will be impossible. he can NOT make an "american made" tablet for under $1400.00

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#43010921)

When did he say he would source those things in the US? He specifically mentions ordering shit from China. He's just going to assemble everything in the US.

Re:American made is not a selling point (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43010349)

American made means "Not made in a developing country by near-slave-wage employees."

"American Made" also means, "my money goes to my own community, and supports manufacturing wages instead of Wal-Mart greeter/do-you-want-fries-with-that wages."

If more people in my neighborhood earn wages that allow them to raise a family, and be self-sufficient, then it means I don't have to pay as much to provide that family with social-programs that allow them to feed their families. There's less crime, less violence, fewer social problems. Happier people. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be a rich person in a poor neighborhood. I would like my neighbors to do very well.

Having said that, I also want the people working for slave wages in third world hell-holes to do well, but I can't do anything to help them if workers in my country have to compete with those slave wages. Better their wages rise to compete with ours than having our wages fall to compete with theirs. When it comes to labor, "free market" doesn't apply because companies hiring are necessarily monosopies.

As I've said before, I'll pay 50-100% more for a locally-made product, and I'll pay 100-200% more for a locally-made product manufactured by union workers.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012005)

so you would pay $1000-1500 for a tablet?

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43016477)

so you would pay $1000-1500 for a tablet?

Considering a Nexus 7 is $200, and I said I'd pay 200% for local, union-made products, I don't see why I should pay "$1000-1500".

Yes, I'd pay $400 for a locally-made, union labor Nexus 7.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43014767)

"American Made" also means, "my money goes to my own community,my money goes to my own community [...]"

Only if you're American. I strive towards as little as possible of my money going to the U.S.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43016437)

Only if you're American. I strive towards as little as possible of my money going to the U.S.

I would hope so. Better to support your own community.

There is room for global consciousness, but not until we have local stability.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43008975)

Excuse me, but you seem to have mistaken where you were posing. The flamewars about America are currently going on in this story [slashdot.org] . Please relocate your trolling there. Thank you for your cooperation..

Re:American made is not a selling point (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43009581)

Among other things, it indicates the manufacturer isn't obsessed with cutting every possible corner to save themselves money. It's not that Chinese manufacturers aren't perfectly capable of high quality work --- crappy Wal-Mart Quality goods are the result of *American* investor-leeches demanding products with the absolute cheapest materials and manufacturing quality (resulting in items with only the outward appearance of actually functional goods). A manufacturer willing to spend a couple more percent of the price of a product on US-waged labor also probably won't be skimming pennies by making internal parts out of terrible low-grade materials that fall apart after a month of use.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

Smask (665604) | about a year ago | (#43014713)

I agree. One of the guys renting the space next to me used to work as a designer at Fjällräven (outdoor clothing/camping equipment) and he'd done several purcasing trips to China. He told me that Chinese manufacturers will meet your price point and always make money on the deal. Always. They won't care about the quality.

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

mschuyler (197441) | about a year ago | (#43009737)

But it's OK to say Japanese cars are well made.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010019)

Well to be fair, Japan doesn't have a (recent) history of murdering anyone that doesn't agree with them.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010107)

"American made" is not a selling point, it's bigotry. Idiots.

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. In this case, I think it's more a sign of someone who's out of his league. He has no idea who to mass produce this product. He's a custom auto parts shop. He can make a few dozen of these for special orders, but that's it.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010215)

USA is the only country I care about. Any American who buys a Toyota instead of a Chevy is a cunt.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012435)

hahaha my first car was a 88 chevy nova. open the hood and you see toyota's name everywhere. the only decent chevy i had ever driven.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43014837)

Why would buying a better car makse someone a cunt?

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010221)

Doesn't matter anyway - they're only for Apple products. No Android versions at all.

America is the only market where iGear is still market leader.

Re:American made is not a selling point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011357)

You didn't watch the video or read the transcript, did you?

Re:American made is not a selling point (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43011023)

"American made" is not a selling point, it's bigotry. Idiots.

American patriotism halts at the wallet?

Terrible Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43008885)

Looks like it would poke holes in my kid...

Re:Terrible Design (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43008987)

No problem. He'll sell you a ruggedized kid for $2500.

Re:Terrible Design (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year ago | (#43009671)

Is there an open source design I can download, so I can build my own ruggedized kid?

Re:Terrible Design (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43010111)

Unfortunately not - he likes to use his own proprietary equipment for the manufacturing. You just pay him the fee and introduce him to your wife, and he'll handle all the hard work for you.

Panasonic Toughpad (2)

Frohboy (78614) | about a year ago | (#43009005)

If you want to learn nothing about the Toughpad, but have fun while doing so, I suggest the following article: http://lookrobot.co.uk/2013/01/14/the-panasonic-toughpad-press-conference/ [lookrobot.co.uk]

Re:Panasonic Toughpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009309)

If you want to learn nothing about the Toughpad, but have fun while doing so, I suggest the following article: http://lookrobot.co.uk/2013/01/14/the-panasonic-toughpad-press-conference/ [lookrobot.co.uk]

A friend sent me this article a few months ago and I almost died laughing. Definitely worth the read (make sure you read the captions under the pictures)

What am I doing with my life? Why am I here in this basement in Munich at the age of 26 staring at a man fire a laser pointer at a graph? How did this happen? I wanted to be a Sky Pirate. I don’t understand any of this.

LOL...

Re:Panasonic Toughpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43013705)

First line reads:

Like most journalists everywhere...

Means: I am not a journalist, but I want to you to think I am so that you suck up my bullshit more readily.

Nice commercial. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009035)

And there's no way that is comfortable to carry around.

Slashvertisment (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#43009057)

Articlew is just advertising.

Also what are all those lumps on the cases about? They make it look industrial but I think it is just for the look.

Re:Slashvertisment (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#43009377)

It looks like they intentionally make the outer edge of the case more malleable so that it will absorb the force of an impact instead of sending the shock trough the device hidden within.

Re:Slashvertisment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009973)

It's to hold the two sheets of metal together. It's the cheapest solution to make a "case", and it's probably the reason why the guy claims to be able to make a "case" for anything. He's making a sandwich, not a case.

Yeah but does it protect the product (1)

n2hightech (1170183) | about a year ago | (#43009171)

He talks and talks no data on how well the device protects the product. How about some drop tests and Impact tests comparing unprotected and protected product. My guess is that anything that really protects it will make it unusable.

and they aren't cheap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009189)

I'll take my chances - thank-you-very-much.

he is working on an open source "ruggedized" tablet he hopes to bring to market "in the $300-$400 range" to compete with the Panasonic 7” Toughpad that runs more like $1100.

Good luck with that. I'm not interested in it if it has a processor or memory or whatever that will make it a dog.

So tell me again, what is so special about this guy? He sounds like a washed up silicon valley entrepreneur who's grasping at straws.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009291)

For 400$ for a custom case that most likely would only fit a specific model, you could just buy a replacement or another cheap device for your kids to play with.

Definitely the worst looking case ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009297)

Slashvertisement. These cases were designed by the 5-year-olds in the picture. Abominations.

link filtered (1)

magarity (164372) | about a year ago | (#43009367)

Great; I got intercepted by my company's web filter for trying to access a porn site for that link to sascase dot com. Anyone else get that?

Re:link filtered (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43009629)

To be fair, the filter probably had too much alcohol and too many hard disk crashes the night before. I would've read it as asscase dot com and did a double take too in that case.

Re:link filtered (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43034575)

Great; I got intercepted by my company's web filter for trying to access a porn site for that link to sascase dot com.

I find a lot of corporate web filters are incredibly stupid.

I once tried to go the web site for a local yoga place, and the filter claimed it was 'alternative spirituality' or something, like that matters. Blue Goat or something I think it was. I sent them an email telling them categorizing the site like that was stupid, and they eventually did fix it.

From what I've seen, an awful lot of these filters are just so broadly stupid as to become bad jokes. I've even seen a couple which seem to have been written by the Amish or some religious group, as they seemed to be ridiculously biased against, well, everything that wasn't puppies and kittens.

Mothers don't get upset... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43009635)

Even the most loving *fathers* tend to get upset when their kids destroy

Any kind of mobile device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010023)

According to TFSlashvertisement:
"...can make you a case for almost any kind of mobile device you might own."

A quick check of their site shows cases for:
iPhone 4&5
iPad 2&3

That is all.

That sentence is a tad misleading, methinks.

Pretty simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010031)

Appears to be 2 water-jet trimmed pieces of aluminum that sandwich the device, held in place by hemispherical-head bolts. Tube-spacers appear to be placed on each bolt to prevent the plates from crushing the device when tightened. Even with the spacers, something must be done to keep the device from rattling around in the case, that being either direct contact with the case (close-tolerance machining) or padding between the case and the device.

There does not appear to be any protection on the sides of the device (not water-resistant in the slightest) nor could I find any mention on the website of a means of securing the device firmly between the plates--if this case relies SOLELY on clamping force (directly against the device case) and without any padding, this case will cause serious damage to the device if any grains of sand, metal filings or any other hard, small debris gets between the case and device. Since there is no protection at the sides of the device, the likelihood of debris of some sort becoming lodged between device and case is highly likely.

  Without padding of any kind, any impact absorbed by the case will be transferred to the device directly, as a result of the material used (plastic actually deforms slightly under impact absorbing some of the energy, while aluminum does not), so the protection is limited to crushing. The screen of the device does not appear to be protected in any way (not sure this is even possible with a touch-screen).

The large tabs required to accommodate the bolts effectively increase the dimensions of the device significantly (length and width by the size of the tabs, thickness by the depth of the two plates as well as the bolt/nut heads on both sides).

It also appears that you would require two tools to open the case as a result of the bolts used.

Pretty simple, yet crude and I suspect largely ineffective for anything other then to protect your device when your ex-spouse backs over it a few times with their car as they leave you.

Ruggedization has more to do with internals (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#43010305)

Making a ruggedized product has more to do with component selection and layout than it does with a tougher case. Failures happen when components become dislodged from the mobo's, not when the case cracks. In fact, the case cracking could be helping the computer/device because it's going to use energy that otherwise might go towards prying components off their pads.

A ruggedized computer is not simply the same as a non-rugged version crammed into a heavier case. A waterproof and dustproof version is, though.

USA made cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010653)

I make iPhone cases from paper and bamboo in Minnesota. They're sturdy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR9-xMpWaOU, made from sustainable, natural materials, and they're really nice lookin'. http://www.twigcase.com

No, they're not open source, or indestructible, or for "every device", but they do look great on a table, feel nice in the hand, don't block signal, and protect your iPhone. They've even been known to impress the opposite sex.

What more could you want?

Re:USA made cases (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | about a year ago | (#43011975)

Given this is Slashdot... a case for something other than an iPhone? :)

Re:USA made cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012097)

:D Not Currently. But iPhones are nice, as they tend to stay the same for more than 6 months, don't have odd bumps or protrusions, and have lots of fans of a single form factor.

Apple Exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43013733)

A quick look at the SASCASE website [sascase.com] reveals cases for the following products:

  • iPhone 4/4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3

No love for droids?

Don't get excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43014949)

...just for crapple products ATM...

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