Dropping your smartphone is never a good thing. That's why people have experimented with protective measures such as auto-deploying airbags. The spring-loaded ADcase, however, looks like it could be a much more practical solution – and you may soon be able to buy one.

The award-winning device was invented as a thesis project by Philip Frenzel, a 25 year-old mechatronics master's student at Germany's Aalen University.

Essentially, it's a relatively slim case for iPhone models 6 and up (it protrudes just 4.9 mm from the back of the phone) that's equipped with sensors that detect when the phone is in free-fall. Those sensors automatically trigger pairs of metal-spring curled dampers to pop out from each corner of the case, cushioning the phone's landing – the AD in the name stands for Active Damping.

Frenzel has now partnered with Aalen economics grad Peter Mayer, founding a startup to develop the technology commercially. The duo are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month, in order to raise production funds (there is currently no word on pricing). If you're interested in being a backer, you can register for notifications via the first of the two links at the end of this article.

You can see the ARcase in bouncy action, in the following video.