While electronics consumers may be worried about the effects of powerful magnets on their mobile devices, demand for magnets is likely to rise as magnets add to the functionality of regular smartphone cases. For those concerned, there is good news as the magnets found in smartphone cases will generally have little impact on the phone.
"Clasp and case cover magnets are generally quite weak but when bought in close proximity to the phone or tablet may affect compass readings," Maybury wrote. "So be warned, if you plan to use a compass app for some serious navigation, remove the case and keep your device well away from any magnets."
He also advised magnetic phone case users to avoid storing the case near credit or debit cards that are made with magnetic strips because the effects of the magnet could cause the data to be negatively modified.
As more consumers realize the benefits of magnets for their smartphone cases, manufacturers and inventors are rolling out innovative accessories that are turning heads.
Here are three ways magnets are changing smartphone cases:
Preventing phone theft with magnets
Billing itself as the first magnetic smartphone case in the world, the OnYou accessory is gaining attention from fitness buffs for its ability to stay on their bodies during a workout, In The Capital reported. The OnYou device made by Jimmy Rogers and Scott Bauer, who are graduate students at George Mason University, are strong enough to prevent the phone from falling off the case. Users who like to exercise may choose the OnYou case for its lightweight properties and comfort while it's being carried on their arm.
It also has another surprising advantage in helping avoid phones from being stolen because of the strength of its magnets.
"We added a safety strap to prevent theft that connects your phone to your compression sleeve while providing slack to access your phone," Bauer said, according to In The Capital. "If you don't want to use it, you don't have to hook it up. Just un-clip it at both ends."
Securing phones with magnetic clasps
The popularity of magnetic phone cases is steadily increasing as consumers want more effective ways to carry their phones with them without fumbling around to find them in their pockets. These cases have the added benefit of keeping these accessories closed to protect the phone in case a user drops it, according to Pocket-lint.
Charging devices with the help of magnets
While cases are usually thought to only serve to protect phones, magnets also make it easier for users to charge their devices. A new project in development called Zolo could allow users to power up their phones by magnetically attaching the phone to a battery pack, according to mobile news site BGR. The magnetic accessory is expected to be available for some of the latest versions of iPhone as well as Galaxy smartphones. The Zolo device could help users avoid being stuck with a dead battery and no way to charge their phones, making it a convenient solution for those on the go.