iPad case claims to boost 3G signal and reduce radiation

Pong Research has released an iPad case that it claims to boost your iPad's 3G signal and reduce your exposure to the radiation emitted by your iPad's 3G antenna. The case costs $100, but does it really work? ArsTechnica's Jon Phillips visited an FCC compliance lab to observe actual testing of the case and found that it does what it says. He also gives an interesting explanation for those of you curious how it works.

Gleaning from FCC docs, Phillips reveals that the iPad 2 with 3G features a proximity sensor that dials down the power of the 3G radio when it detects that a user is close to the sensor. It can dial down the power by as much as 75 percent, which means a much weaker 3G signal strength and slower data speeds if something is close to the sensor, especially when the sensor is covered up by a case.

This use of the proximity sensor in tandem with 3G power is to protect users from the electromagnetic radiation emanating from the 3G antenna. Hence, users may notice that when they have their iPad 2 Smart Covers or other casing over their iPads that their 3G connection weakens.

Pong's iPad 2 case tackles this problem by placing a small hole in the case right above where it would cover the iPad's proximity sensor. This allows the 3G data to continue running at full speed. And to reduce the radiation that comes with the full tilt 3G radio, Pong has utilized a special circuit board design to take and redistribute the radiation away from the user's body.

[via TUAW]