NEW ORLEANS -- On stage trombonist Terence Green says he could never feel his phone vibrating, and he certainly couldn't hear it. And when you rely on gigs to pay the bills, that's frustrating.
“I'm always missing calls, and by me being a musician, it’s like I need that,” Green said. “It’s like this is my only way of living.”
So one night last summer, Green had an idea -- an iPhone case, one that would let him know when he was getting a call.
It’s called a “Sparx.” It is their prototype iPhone case that lights up when you're getting a call.
Green came up with the idea, and a friend led him to mechanical designer Trey Deark.
“But when he pitched the idea, I was like, this thing has some legs to it,” Deark said. “It really did. A light went off. It piqued my interest.”
The two formed a company and soon hope to release a thousand cases to the market.
Sparx utilizes the iPhone flash notification that already exists, but with the case it can be seen on its back or its front. And the lights, which come in six colors, are diffused and less obtrusive than a camera flash.
“You just want it bright enough and at every angle so that you personally can see it, and you don't want to distract anyone else,” Green said.
It's been an evolution from case to case, looking for the right product, until this one for the iPhone 5 that includes a shutter you can close to protect your camera.
“We can pretty confidently say you're never going to miss a notification, ever,” Deark said.
The money from the first thousand will help buy hardware and tools to make their own cases, thus bringing down their costs and increasing the chances of a Sparx success.