Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Time Stand Still!

We all know about magnets and the problems they can potentially cause if left to their own devices.

If you are not careful around magnets, they can wipe your swipe, erase the data on a floppy disk and generally play havoc with information that is electronically stored in a form where the 'state' of bits are altered according to the whim of the data stored therein.

But did you know that magnets can also make time stand still!

I admit I was not aware of this. Not until recently, when a customer of ours in Sydney contacted me.

"Do you know that when I put my Tag Heuer watch on top of my nutshell case with a mag-tab when I shower, I find that time has stood still?" he asked.

"Why no," said I. "How can this be?"

Apparently his watch, and many others like it, are very susceptible to magnetic influences; their movements are so delicately balanced that they will actually stop recording the passing of time if they are placed within a magnetic field.

But only for the duration of the time they are under the influence of the magnetic field. Remove them from the field and they perform again. Perfectly.

Except for that one small, seemingly insignificant fact that they are now running behind time in the 'real world'. And that can be a problem. Especially if you are inclined to base your life on the time.

Now, that is not to say that there is anything special about the magnetic fields generated by our mag-clasps (be they tab or full flap). There are lots of other cases to contain handhelds in the marketplace that use magnets.

The most famous of them has to be RIM BlackBerry.

RIM has for many years embedded a small magnet in the base of their belt cases, and use its influence to put their devices into a standby mode, which drains less power but still enables emails and messages to be received with no problems.

Many of our competitors use dual magnets to achieve a firm clap; the magnets are reversed polarity, so that they actually 'want' to attach to each other. And, to my knowledge, there is at least one other case manufacturer that actually uses four magnets in their flap closure. Four! Un-freaking-believable.

At Nutshell we know that the devices we protect are complex, delicate (comparatively) pieces of electronics, which do not need much to upset them, if they are that way inclined.

For this reason we do what we can to minimize their effect. We contain our magnet between two pieces of steel. This action results in an ultra-strong attraction between the plates but actually limits the amount of magnetism that leaks out into the surrounding environment.

But it is obviously not enough to minimize magnetism; in a perfect world you have to eliminate it altogether. It may be a very slight, very minute, magnetic field, but it is obviously still enough to make time stand still.

That's why, for folk who are really concerned, we offer hook'n'loop Velcro as an alternate method of keeping your Nutshell shut.

Makes sense.
Doesn't it?

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