Frequently Asked Questions
The Firefly case protects your phone significantly in a slender form factor AND improves your phone's connectivity, speed and battery life through better global cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth signaling.
At a similar price point to top protective case brands, the Firefly case can preserve your phone and screen's longevity while optimizing its performance and functions which can be seen at https://youtu.be/Tvt6ycB-81QLast updated:
Your smartphone gets immediate wireless relief and responds by reducing its power usage because of improved global cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth signaling. Your phone can even show a one bar improvement (10x or greater signal strength increase in iOS 11) in the signal meter despite its internal Power Amplifier (PA), that is designed to restrict and control power usage.
In addition, your phone's multiple radios search nonstop to acquire the best connections. This is why your phone's display and signal searching are the top two drains on its battery. Wireless relief through a cleaner signal means your phone's PA can reallocate the conserved power to other functions as your phone never stops multitasking. This helps mitigate functional lag.
Lastly, a cleaner wireless signal helps with network congestion and bottlenecks. Instead of last on and first off the network, your phone with the Firefly improves your position to be last on and last off the network. All of these actions are what accounts for improved connectivity, speed and battery life, hence a better mobile experience.Last updated:
Just about every user has mobile pain points in her/his personal use case. The simplest test is to put the Firefly on your phone and go do what you do. In less than a week, you will know where the improvement is. Previous users of our first generation case have given a variety of testimonials on how better signaling has improved their mobile experience. Some of these can be found at the bottom of this page: http://wavcatcher.com/enhanced-cases.html
Our cases have a 90-day no questions asked return policy as well as the standard Limited Lifetime Warranty (cases only) that most Tier One case brands offer. If you don't like the Firefly for whatever reason within 90 days of receipt of product, please let us know so we can refund your pledge as soon as possible.Last updated:
Our case is designed around revolutionary antenna technology that uses inductive coupling (a form of electromagnetic induction, e.g. wireless inductive charging) to provide wireless relief to the many radios in your wireless device. These radios connect to numerous small antennas which have limited energy fields. This forces your device to work incredibly hard to establish connectivity and accounts for much of the device’s battery depletion.
Since our case is essentially a plug and play passive super antenna that is unconfined by your device’s form factor restriction, it provides clean and larger coverage patterns as well as polarization diversity, the key element to ensure mobile connectivity.
To learn why wireless relief matters, please reference this article at http://www.electronicdesign.com/ed-europe/what-drains-smart-phone-batteryLast updated:
Booster antenna stickers do not work because their antenna footprint: (a) does not cover the numerous frequencies nor frequency range required; (b) fails to inductively couple to the phone's internal antennas since there are no feed lines aligned to the associated RF hot spots; (c) has incorrect spacing and/or loading necessary for successful inductive coupling to actualize; and (d) can cause your phone's radio wave to scatter, i.e. trying to put 2 magnets together when they are not correctly aligned.
To contrast, the Firefly case is designed to work globally. Smartphone antenna performance relies not on standards but frequencies which are the pipelines for data passage. Except for GPS, the Firefly through engineered antenna feed lines syncs with every frequency band supported by the iPhone, including the independent internal antenna that addresses the 2.6 GHz band required by China Mobile.
It should be noted that our Gen I beta case has been vetted by 3 Tier One wireless carriers, several manufacturers and an independent test lab approved by all major U.S. wireless carriers. The Firefly is the Gen II version which includes global frequency coverage and polarization diversity, a critical factor for reliable mobile connectivity.Last updated:
Wireless inductive charging, i.e. Qi standard, does work on a phone with the Firefly case on. Unlike some other cases, the Firefly's material composition requires that RF energy is allowed to cleanly pass through (for example, carbon and zinc are known disruptors). Secondly, the Firefly utilizes a passive printed circuit antenna footprint which, unlike active and amplified solutions, minimizes the possibility of electromagnetic interference.
For video demonstrations, please visit:
No, it does not. By improving global cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth signaling, the Firefly case reduces the phone's transmit power which in turn reduces the amount of radio frequency (RF) energy absorbed by the body during use of the device.
The FCC mandates that wireless device manufacturers ensure that their phones comply with objective limits for safe exposure to RF energy. These limits are defined by the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which measures how transmitted RF energy is absorbed by human tissue. Any cell phone at or below these SAR levels is considered a "safe" phone. This is why cell phones are designed with an internal Power Amplifier (PA), which ensures the device does not exceed the maximum SAR threshold.
SAR testing requires direct contact by the phone to the head and body because proximity affects the conductivity of RF energy to human tissue. It should be noted that RF energy actually diffuses logarithmically as a transmitting phone is further removed from body contact.
This is why the FCC suggests that "users who are concerned with the adequacy of this standard or who otherwise wish to further reduce their exposure, the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory."
FCC approved portable solutions that use additive power such as Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA) to boost signal have proven to reduce SAR levels. Despite the additive power and potential noise, the phone's PA responds to the improved signal strength by reducing the phone's transmit power.
It should be noted that the Firefly does not use a LNA or have any electronic components to achieve demonstration of improved signal strength. It is a passive antenna solution that enhances signal coverage because it addresses the four factors to better signaling: efficiency at the targeted frequencies, polarization diversity, pattern (shape of coverage) and gain (reach of coverage).
For more information about SAR, please visit:
Not only does improved WiFi help for in-stadium/heavy traffic use cases (cuts through congestion) and in-building barriers (walls especially at 5.0 GHz), WiFi is now a critical component to wireless operator’s network connectivity via mobile data offloading. With the sheer volume of network traffic and its associated use of streaming data, mobile data offload to WiFi has been adopted by every Tier One carrier. Here's a Top 5 summary:
1. A better WiFi signal helps at home in places that have denser walls, especially at 5.0 GHz, which allows for faster data streaming.
2. A better WiFi signal helps away from home, like at a busy coffee shop or when in a stadium, because it cuts through network congestion.
3. A better WiFi signal helps when you are mobile because it improves your ability to stream from your cellular provider. Your provider uses mobile data offloading via WiFi to offset network traffic to ensure you have a better user experience. Having improved WiFi connectivity puts your on-demand streaming in front of the data line.
4. A better WiFi signal helps improve your phone’s battery life, because the WiFi radio inside your phone constantly searches for a network. Better signal coverage means your phone uses less power.
5. A better WiFi signal is a lag killer as it provides wireless relief to your phone’s WiFi radio. Doing so makes your phone more responsive as it has more resources available for multi-tasking activities.Last updated:
No, it isn't. To quote the FCC: “Consumer Signal Boosters are designed to be used “out of the box” by individuals to improve their wireless coverage within a limited area such as a home, car, boat, or recreational vehicle.” Signal boosters in general are devices that require amplification and/or electronic components to selected frequencies. These elements require FCC approval to prevent interference to wireless networks and to ensure a minimum level of consumer safety, i.e. SAR.
These solutions, unlike the Firefly, do not completely address the other important aspects of signal improvement such as efficiency at targeted frequencies, polarization diversity, pattern (shape) and gain (reach). Furthermore, signal boosters can create unwanted noise which disrupts and corrupts wireless signals within the vicinity.
The Firefly case improves signaling because it has embedded passive multiband and broadband antenna technology. Unlike your phone’s internal antenna size restrictions, the Firefly "super antenna" is unconfined by the device's form factor. The end results to your phone include power conservation and a cleaner, larger coverage pattern that translates into improved connectivity, speed and battery life.Last updated:
This question, more or less, was asked in a recent Facebook comment. The short answer for this FAQ is the Firefly has far better protection and covers global cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth frequencies, instead of the Reach case's ambiguous statement of improving LTE signal. Unlike the Reach case, the Firefly's performance is noticeable and documented per carrier level field testing protocols. For a deeper dive, the following answer (minus the opening and closing sentences) was posted in response to the Facebook comment. Also, any omissions or revisions from my original response that have been corrected are noted with these brackets < >. Thank you :-)
"...I have to apologize in advance for this incredibly long answer because it's a good question that requires starting with a short backstory regarding the Antenna79 Reach case to provide some context. Or you can just look at the phone case comparison chart at http://wavcatcher.com/firefly.html.
"The company, formerly Pong, pivoted their case solution’s value proposition at least 3 different times to find a working differentiator to gain end user traction. Because Pong, and later, Antenna79, failed to create a noticeably effective embedded solution, they created a slider antenna case which acts like the pull out antennas from early model cell phones. These slider antenna cases were initially adopted by 2 (maybe 3) Tier One carriers for their customer retention departments. However, at least one carrier dropped them because end users became irate at receiving what they considered to be a placebo.
"First, to get the benefit of a better performance for the Reach case, you have to pull out the slider for it to inductively couple to the phone’s internal antenna (which one?). So what happens when it’s not pulled out? This means that there is no improvement to connectivity, speed and battery life when the slider is retracted because the internal Power Amplifier (PA) is still spending power searching for signals.
"Second, Antenna79 has never stated which operating frequencies they improve. They claim LTE, which doesn’t mean anything because that is a standard. The signal pipeline requires connecting to frequencies. That’s why T-Mobile keeps shouting that their new purchase of the 600 MHz frequency bands will improve their network congestion with an expanded frequency pipeline. However, if Apple doesn’t design a device for 600 MHz, which it hasn’t released yet, then there are no additional benefits to the iPhone end user, at least on T-Mobile’s network.
"The Firefly is truly the first case solution that covers all world cellular and WiFi frequencies (and Bluetooth; a side effect) that are utilized in the iPhone. Our patented technology offers broadband and multi-band frequency coverage utilizing a multi-port solution that simulates a MIMO effect without the energy loss associated with a power divider. Except for GPS, our embedded technology addresses the complete wireless footprint, i.e. 3 cellular hotspots (bottom corners) and the WiFi/Bluetooth hotspot at the top corner location. WiFi is incredibly important for mobile data offloading which is used by the carriers to mitigate the ever-increasing network congestion.
"One cannot simply inductively couple <a large number of embedded> antennas <inside> a case to <a smartphone's internal antennas to> improve the necessary range of wireless signals. They just won’t fit, because the <antennas' apertures have> to be much larger to yield a noticeable benefit to the PA and thus the end user. Antennas by nature are narrow band in frequency bandwidth; this makes it difficult to cover the entire range of wireless frequencies. If you miss one, then that also has a cumulative effect on overall signal coverage. In addition, most people are unaware of polarization diversity which deals with device orientation. That’s why the iPhone utilizes polarization switching to ensure that the orientation is ideal to capture direct or reflective signals from the cellular base station.
"Finally, the Firefly offers at least Tier One level protection (12’ drop). Just because a case meets the mechanical specifications to survive a 6’ drop, <doesn't mean> it will. We learned the hard way with our Gen I case. We found out that the rigid nature of the case (similar to Antenna79 Reach) was not ideal for screen protection. We also learned that protection was more important to the end user than signal and performance optimization regardless of the demographic. After this hard lesson, we had to re-engineer our technology to work in synergy with material composition that favored shock absorption without adding extraneous bulk.
"In short, the Firefly has better protection and performance than the current iteration of the Antenna79 Reach case as summarized above. In fact, we contracted an independent test lab which side-by-side tested an iPhone 6s, an iPhone 6s in our Gen I case (which did not have the China Mobile independent frequency nor polarization diversity) and an iPhone 6s in the Antenna79 Reach with their slider antenna out (awkward setup). Our Gen I case won out as referenced in this blog from the test lab: http://www.orchestratec.com/latest-posts-page/.
"For more information regarding the Firefly’s credibility, please reference this document, http://wavcatcher.com/uploads/9/9/8/4/99845498/wavcatcher-technology-intro-201712.pdf, or any of our video demos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbMx_egsY8BVANmZ-ANTAug/videos. We try to keep the marketing spin out of the field test videos for legal reasons and for carrier, <manufacturer,> end user and investor transparency..."Last updated:
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