In a natural disaster, eat your iPhone case

Summary:Japan has developed a new way to give smartphone users emergency rations in a natural disaster -- by creating edible iPhone cases.

Japan has developed a new way to give smartphone users emergency rations in a natural disaster -- by creating edible iPhone cases.

In a natural disaster, it's not only damage to buildings and communication breakdowns that can cause problems. Potentially, a lack of access to food and fuel is also thrown into the mix.

So what do you do? Create an edible case for a popular smartphone, namely, Apple's iPhone.

The "Survival Senbei iPhone 5 case" is produced from baked brown rice and salt, namely called a 'senbei' cracker -- a popular choice of snack among the Japanese elderly. Creator of the iPhone case, senbei crafter Mariko, wanted to make this kind of rice cracker popular again in a fast-paced, tech-heavy world -- so how better than to twist one around a must-have gadget?

Rocketnews24 reports that now the shape of the fragile case has has been perfected, each costs 3,818 yen -- a mnemonic pun on the Japanese word for 'survival'. Each iPhone cover is handcrafted by Mariko, and so only several can be produced a day, and it may take more than a month to arrive.

Before stocking up on cases before the next earthquake, be warned: they're unlikely to survive. In fact, simply delivering the item is fraught with danger. Customers are warned exactly what they're getting into on the website with a list stating the risk of each case breaking in different scenarios (hat tip Rocketnews):

・Before arrival: 9%
・Affixing to iPhone 5: 76%
・Using touch screen: 18%
・Touched by friend: 81%
・Turning up the volume: 50%
・Connecting to PC: 54%
・When the user is upset or annoyed: 65%
・Putting in pocket: 89%
・When dropped: 120%

The website doesn't mention whether the cracker is likely to survive tectonic shifting or being dumped in sea water, but if it's a '120 percent' risk of breaking when dropped, you'll likely be enjoying your emergency rations in the form of crumbs.

(via Rocketnews24)

Image credit: Mariko

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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