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Get a grip: $2.99 Loopski keeps mobile devices from catastrophically colliding with the ground

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 5, 2011 05:11 PM

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loopski.jpgIf you're like me, your mobile phone is usually in one hand or the other. You're often juggling other items, like keys, notebooks, and a briefcase. As a result, your phone occasionally has unpleasant interactions with the pavement.

To keep my iPhone safe, I bought a hard plastic case made by Case Mate — and even that has chipped a bit after four months of duty. I love the look of the case, but it does make the iPhone bulkier, and it conceals everything but the phone's screen and its essential ports.

Last week, Boston entrepreneur Naveed Ghalib started selling Loopskis, a $2.99 accessory he invented to help keep your mobile phone in your hands. ($2.99 is the introductory price, and he may increase it once the first batch is sold out.) Ghalib was kind enough to send over a Loopski that I could try.

I extracted my phone from its case and applied a piece of Velcro with adhesive to the back of the phone. Then, feeling a little like a boxer preparing for a fight, I wrapped Velcro bands around two of my fingers. When the Velcro on my fingers met the Velcro on the back of my phone, it allowed me to keep the phone from falling even if I wasn't gripping it at all.

It was easy to see how the Loopski would keep the phone in my palm — but it also made it hard to switch hands (rrrrip!) or put the phone down on the table (rrrip!). Doing either thing went from a one-handed to a two-handed job. And keeping the Loopski "Band-Aids" on your fingers when you don't have a phone in your hand just looked strange. ("Why do you have tape on your fingers?" my young son asked. "I'm not sure, son," I replied.)

Loopskis may solve a problem for those of you who insist on using mobile phones without a protective case, but I put mine aside after my brief trial run. I wish Ghalib luck — as I do to every entrepreneur who comes up with something no one else has thought of before — but I wonder if this isn't an Optigrab-type solution to the problem of holding on to your phone. (Ghalib works at a well-known Cambridge company that he didn't want me to mention; Loopskis are a side project.) Still, perhaps you'll want to be the first on your block to start the black Band-Aid trend...

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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