Awesome Video of the Day- iPad Drops Over 100,000 feet and Still Works


Seriously, you have to see this. An iPad went up over 100,000 feet in a balloon and then was allowed to free fall back to earth. AND it survived.

It was accomplished thanks to G-Form, a company well known for delivering the most extreme electronics cases and athletic pads. The iPad went up only protected by the company’s 6oz Extreme Edge case and it survived. Check it out!

“As far as we know, this is the first iPad ever in space,” said G-Form’s VP innovations, Thom Cafaro, “And definitely it’s the first iPad that’s ever free-fallen from space and survived to play more movies. We are usually known for making the most protective gear on the planet,” he continued,” so we decided why not raise the bar to off the planet too.”

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

3 Comments on "Awesome Video of the Day- iPad Drops Over 100,000 feet and Still Works"

  1. Ugh. What a bunch of baloney and theatrics.

    1) The internationally-recognized legal definition of outer space is 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles. 100,000 feet is well under 20 miles; at that height, you haven’t even left the stratosphere.
    2) That looks to be a 6-foot diameter weather balloon. It can carry something like 5-7 pounds max if inflated with pure helium. That puts an upper bound on the total weight of the apparatus, and considering how much drag the remainders of the balloon is providing and the tumbling motion (energy put into causing an object to spin means less energy available to accelerate the object), I dare say it hit terminal velocity south of 100 MPH. They could have gotten the same speeds by tossing it out of a Cessna.
    3) They’re incredibly lucky that the whole thing didn’t catch a large wind gust that would blow it completely out of the launch area, and that the iPad didn’t hit a large boulder with the facing screen down when it landed

    But here’s something interesting. When the guy picks up the iPad at 2:01, you can see the Walt Disney and Pixar logo animations.

    If the iPad was playing the entire time… why was it still at the intro animations? And why didn’t they setup the GoPro (or whatever camera they used) so that it could see at least part of the screen of the supposed video-playing iPad?

    • So are you saying it was faked or not? Kinda hard to figure it out from what you are saying here.
      If it was faked call them out.

      If it wasn’t I could care less if they could have gotten the same speeds by tossing it out of a Cessna because EITHER WAY it is pretty damn amazing.
      Terminal velocity of 100 miles and it didn’t crack? It is pretty damn amazing. Lucky it didn’t hit a boulder… sure but it didn’t because… if they didn’t fake it it is pretty damn amazing.

      • Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it as a fake until near the end of that comment 🙂 People send things up to about that same altitude with weather balloons all the time, so that’s totally believable. When I started out, I was more annoyed with the whole “calling 100,000 feet space thing”. Yeah, 20 miles up is pretty high up, it’s pretty darned cold, and you’ll pass out from a lack of oxygen in a period of time you can measure seconds. But it certainly isn’t space.

        Then I got slightly more annoyed when I saw all that spinning. A skydiver, if splayed out in a static non-tumbling position, reaches terminal velocity at around 120 MPH. The rig they setup weighs a lot less, but the surface area is much bigger relative to its weight, from the ballon remains, the pole, the whole case surface area — I was being conservative at 100 MPH; I figure it was probably more like 80 MPH. BUT, you’re right; even 80 MPH is nothing to sneeze at! GoPros have been known to survive up to 60+ MPH speeds with no damage (not even to the lens setting!) without any protection, so this is plausible.

        Then I went to their site and saw that screen protection was pretty much those cushions on the corner that elevate it above the ground. That’s when the luck observation occurred to me.


        Then I went back and watched the video again to see if a I could take a better look at the landing zone from when it was still falling. I let it continue playing after that, which was when I saw the Walt Disney/Pixar logo thing. A third viewing made me question why the camera was aimed at the backside of the contraption. If the pole was rotated 180 degrees (in EITHER parallel or perpendicular fashion), you could see the screen. Perhaps not dead on, but considering the viewing angles on the IPS screen, we ought to be able to see SOMETHING moving.

        A fourth viewing right now makes me wonder about the MULTIPLE cutaways during the fall, rather than simply fast-forwarding through the “boring” parts. That’s done all the time. And if you look at 1:40, there are those cables that led to the balloon all played out. But in the cuts after that, they’re completely tangled and balled up. And back to the cutaways themselves: why is there a shot of it where you can see the curvature of the earth, and shots of the rig being (relatively) close to the ground, but no shots of when the rig was above the many clouds you can see?

        I can’t straight-out call it a fake. There’s not enough information present in the video to do so. But there’s certainly enough information to to cause this nagging feeling, and enough information to cause me to question the veracity of this marketing stunt.

        Fortunately, this is one of those cases where it’s actually quite easy to prove authenticity: if G-Form can provide the full uninterrupted video from the GoPro that shows everything from the launch to the part where the guy is showing off how the video is still playing, then we can compare the audio and video feeds to this clip. Not as good as if it had been pointing at the iPad screen the whole time, but good enough.

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