If you’ve listened to our podcast or read enough of our articles than you know that the iPhone case is one of those products that I could do without seeing on Kickstarter. However, Firefly actually peaked my interest. Firefly uses signal altering technology to make your reception better and, consequently, make your battery last longer.
Pete Peng, a repeat Kickstarter developer, created the Firefly iPhone case to solve the signal loss issue on the backend. Using broadband signal instead of narrowband, it picks up on frequencies much easier and increases phone performance across the board. So the case not only improves cell signal, it also improves your Wi-Fi signal and Bluetooth.
The functions alone make the case interesting if not intriguing. However, another thing that caught my attention was that the case does not require a plug into the lightning port. It actually took some time to confirm that this was the case (no pun intended), but I found some test runs that showed the case snapping on like a conventional case.
That being said, it appears that the case receives cell signal and transforms it to make the iPhone interpret it easier. Therefore, that narrowband signal gets translated to broadband by the case and the iPhone soaks up the signal without working as hard. Since the iPhone doesn’t have to work so hard to find signal, it can save a huge amount of battery life and function more efficiently.
Peter Peng claims that you can get a signal strength improvement of 10x or greater for iOS 11 devices. That translates to a whole bar increase in signal. Additionally, this signal converter does not increase the cell phone radiation from radio frequency energy (RF).
Firefly is not a signal booster. Seems counterintuitive, but a signal booster is defined by the FCC as:
“… Designed to be used ‘out of the box’ by individuals to improve their wireless coverage within a limited area such as a home, car, boat, or recreational vehicle.”
Signal boosters also focus on select frequencies to amplify for your connected devices. Whereas, Firefly actually seeks out efficient signals and patterns to amplify the best signals using its own super antenna that isn’t constricted to your phone’s internal form factor.
Signal boosting and amplifying has been a constant headache for the end user. While signal boosters exist, they focus on local signal boosting, and I can attest that they just suck. Firefly introduces a new way to bring the best and clearest signal to your phone and consequently save your battery from draining while looking for signal.
Firefly featured on Kickstarter for an early bird price of $34 and will retail for $70. Unfortunately, the campaign has ended, so you’ll have to keep your eye out for a production model in the near future. They raised almost $100,000 of a $10,000 goal. We are in talks with the developers on receiving a pre-production model to test and present in a video review in the near future. While I’m very tired of seeing iPhone cases on Kickstarter, this was a breath of fresh air and we love to give a voice this kind of invention.