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Invisible Phone Guard protects your gear from rogue hammers and knives

New material used for protecting Air Force jets can now protect your phone or tablet.

How many times has this happened to you? You're focusing on the perfect phrasing for your tweet, when some random jerk comes running by and smashes your phone with a claw hammer?

Well, probably never, but a new material called Invisible Phone Guard (IPG) can protect your mobile device against all kinds of physical threats, errant hammer strikes if necessary.

IPG is made from a clear film supposedly developed for the U.S. Air Force and NASA to protect aircraft lights and canopies. It's extremely tough and scratch-resistant (the company (also called Invisible Phone Guard) calls it "self-healing," an oft-overused marketing phrase). Cover your iPhone's front and back with it and you'll add a serious layer of scratch and crack protection.

It seems to work as advertised when I tried it at the company's booth. I took a hammer to an iPhone 4 and a Kindle Fire coated with IPG, and then I chopped some celery on top of it.  There were no visible cracks or scratches left to tell the tale.

Covering the front and back of your phone will cost you about $25, and prices go up from there to around $35 or so for larger tablets. If there's a downside, it's the odd, somewhat tacky feel of the coating. But if you're rough on your phones and tablets (or have kids who are), it might be an investment worth making.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out complete coverage of CES 2013 from PCWorld and TechHive.

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