Nov. 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM ET
There's no shortage of iPhone cases out there, but this one from Spraytect is one-of-a-kind: It has built-in pepper spray.
You read that correctly. The case, currently available for iPhone 4 and 4S, has a special loading mechanism and custom canisters, allowing anyone equipping it to enter self-defense mode in an instant.
The founder of Spraytect, Scott McPherson, thought of the idea as something "socially acceptable" his daughter could carry while alone in a strange city.
It's not exactly haute couture, though; The description of the case says the spray cartridge is "inconspicuously attached" to your phone, but the bump is in fact rather large. It's even advertised as a "kickstand," allowing your phone to sit at an angle in portrait, or straight up in landscape mode.
The obvious question, considering how phones get manhandled and jostled in pockets and purses all day, is how do you prevent it from firing on accident, filling your eyes or your friends' with noxious military-grade mist?
First of all, after you load the canister, there's a safety pin that must be taken out. And then you must rotate the cap downwards to its "armed" position, indicated in bright yellow. Then you're free to hit the button and douse your attacker.
Ridiculous gadget, or useful accessory for wary city-dwellers? Either way, it really exists, and you can buy one for $40 in your choice of color — but just the one flavor.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.