Can You Hear Us Now?

This “smart case” turns a cellphone into a VHF radio — if a manufacturer will build it.

VHF Casemate prototype

The prototype for the VHF Casemate makes the technology look simple.

A student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, as part of a thesis project, has figured out how to use a “smart case” to turn a cellphone into a VHF radio.

According to a recent report in the_ Irish Examiner_, 23-year-old Seán Toomey conceived the VHF Casemate while pursuing a product design degree and is now looking for a manufacturer.

The case is waterproof and includes built-in electronics that enable VHF radio communication (something that no smartphone contains). The phone-case connector doubles as a charger, and the VHF radio can be activated through an app.

The idea is patent-pending, and the idea is to have the product retail for less than $150 — making the cellphone case cheaper than a number of VHF options.