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Magnets found in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL could lead to smart flip cases

Magnets in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL could bring new functionality in the future.

Published onNovember 7, 2016

google pixel xl initial review aa (24 of 48) back

Magnets are cool. They offer a lot of functionality besides sticking things together, and in recent years, a number of manufacturers have figured out ways to take advantage of their interesting properties. One of the most memorable of these manufacturers is HTC, who mystified everyone with the introduction of the Dot View case for the HTCOne M8. This case allowed the user to unlock their phone when opening the folio, and also introduced some additional functionality like seeing basic information via small holes in the cover. Now, it seems like the manufacturer has opted to retain this magnetic functionality in the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Although not officially listed as a feature, many users have discovered that Google’s new flagship devices do indeed react to magnetic fields introduced to the phones. Magnets placed near the Google ‘G’ logo on the rear of the phones seem to wake and sleep the devices, meaning we could see some very interesting cases being released in the future.

So these magnets, how do they work? HTC’s implementation uses something called a ‘Reed Switch”, which is  small pair of electrical contacts sealed in a glass tube. By introducing a magnetic field to the area, the contacts switch from a closed to open or open to closed position, either restricting current or adding it. It’s a pretty nifty piece of technology that could lead to a number of cool implementations down the road.

Would you be interested in a magnetic flip case? Something like HTC’s Dot View would be pretty cool to see on the Pixel and Pixel XL.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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