The smartphone accessory market is constantly at odds with itself trying to create devices that protect phones and offer new features while also trying not to sacrifice the design of the phone itself or become too bulky. The Lunecase from Concepter is a thin, no-power iPhone case that secures the phone and uses electromagnetic waves to display notification icons on the back of the phone. Once attached, the Lunecase can immediately notify users of incoming calls or text messages with bright, rich icons that appear on the back of the case. Lunecase is launching at a price of $39 and will be ready in August of 2014.
We’re constantly attached to our iPhones and use them as cameras, recipe books, GPS’s and a million other things. The Fritzframe makes the iPhone even more versatile acting as a case, stand, video stabilizer and more. The case folds out so that it holds up the phone on any surface or hangs from a hook. Much like the Casio TRYX Digital Camera of yore, the Fritzframe makes it easy to take photos or videos from any angle. The lightweight aluminum Fritzframe only works with the iPhone 5 and costs backers $71 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014. This product has a modest $1,000 goal in its 45-day Indiegogo campaign.
The Premise. No matter how hard people try, it seems like once high school and university are complete, it’s hard to maintain the same level of friendship with people. As friends move away and professional and family lives become more prominent, keeping closely in touch with people grows more difficult.
The Product. The Feeling Skin is a case for iPhone 5 and 5S that aims to bring back that simple, honest level of communication by creating simple, easy-access notifications. The display light on the Feeling Skin glows either blue or red to show when friends are in a good or bad mood respectively. To display a mood, users record a video of their current location and situation and display a mood to it. For those that want to be proactive, a button is available at the bottom of the case to ping added friends to post their current mood. Additionally, the Feeling Skin acts as a battery pack for the iPhone, offering an additional 80% battery life.
The Pitch. The team at Twelve Monkeys Company are eager to show off how intuitive and easy using the Feeling Skin is to keep in touch with friends. The campaign explains something that isn’t addressed in the video — the Feeling Skin app is available on the major mobile platforms, but the skin itself is only available for iPhone 5 model phones at this point. Twelve Monkeys wants to raise $40,000 to complete tooling, testing, and mass production.
The Perks. Backers can get a Feeling Skin for just $49 as a limited deal. All rewards are expected to ship in July.
The Potential. The chances of the Feeling Skin finding a foothold in the mainstream market are pretty slim. At first, the idea of having a private little inner circle of great friends sharing videos and moments with each other sounds tempting, but like any social network, this one would inevitably be filled with people that sat in adjacent desks in homeroom. Having extra battery power is a nice add-on, because if it was just the mood network or the battery pack, there wouldn’t really be anything here worth buying. Everything this device does is pretty much already handled just fine, whether by phone call, text, Facebook, or Instagram. At least it allows users to charge an iPhone with a microUSB cable.
MacBook owners have either heard or been victims of the horror stories that befall the fragile yet necessary chargers. With their two prongs for winding the cable for storage, it seems like the perfect design, yet time after time the cable becomes frayed. The team at JuiceBoxx have come up with a snap-on case for the MacBook charger that fits snugly around it and provides enough extra width to keep the charger cable from breaking its insulation and fraying. While the solution is very low-tech, it does aim to solve a problem that can be several times more expensive to replace. MacBook owners living in fear of damaging their chargers can have a JuiceBoxx in one of four colors for $20 by November 2014.
The Premise. Gun safety in the USA has proven to be seriously lacking. Every year there are thousands of gun-related deaths, most of them accidental and preventable. The worst part is, people don’t know that their guns have been accessed without their permission or stolen until it is too late.
The Product. GunBoxLive is a gun safety system that connects to your smartphone. It alerts the user to which specific gun has been accessed, if the case has been moved, if gun has been accessed, removed or put back into the case. The app also provides immediate options to dial 911, report the gun stolen or show the map location of the weapon. GunBoxLive MD3G is a small device that works with any gun case roughly the size of a USB flash drive. The GunBoxLive HGC1 is a smart case with the device already built in.
The Pitch. GunBoxLive really goes for the shock factor in its campaign video with a sad and not-so-subtle dramatization of an accidental shooting involving two small children. The rest of the campaign follows suit with sad photos and even sadder statistics of gun violence. The developer is looking for a relatively ambitious $100,000 goal in its 60-day run on Indiegogo.
The Perks. The GunBoxLive MD3G device goes for an early price of $279. The HGC1 smart case goes for $359 with estimated delivery dates of October 2014. Reward tiers include service member discounts for policemen, firemen and military personnel and go all the way up to $13,500. As expected for any device that uses a cellular connection, there is a subscription charge. The first year of the app is free, but each additional year costs $60 for one year, $100 for two and $120 for three.
The Potential. GunBoxLive offers a smart way for gun owners to keep track of their firearms. Its options to call 911 and show if the gun has been removed or not puts it above existing smart gun cases such as the Gun Box. While the campaign video may be a bit sensationalist, the issue it addresses is serious. The added cost of renewing the subscription for the app, however, may deter backers. Many gun owners may simply opt for a locked box, but particularly those with kids will certainly see the benefits of the GunBoxLive.
The Premise. Let’s face it: no one likes to compromise. We make tradeoffs because we’re adults, and we have to. It’s the way it is. We love to take great pictures with our DSLRs but we want it to be as easy as snapping a photo and sharing with a smartphone.
The Product. Case is a generically named camera accessory and smartphone app that attempts to serve you the best of both worlds. While its name would imply a very different and common camera complement, it’s actually a small, lightweight receiver meant to attach to your interchangeable lens camera via USB or reusable tape. Using Case with an Android™ or iOS device, you can upload images wirelessly from your camera to your smart device, control camera functions from your smart device, and change camera settings remotely. With the use of smart sensors Case can turn your smartphone into a remote control for your camera, allowing you to trigger the shutter from up to 50 meters away: especially useful for people who like to capture wildlife.
The Pitch. In the campaign video, members of Cheering Technology explain they created Case to make photography easier. They demonstrate how to switch shooting modes and change settings for shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance directly from a smart device. They also explain how to easily focus the image and trigger the shutter button in addition to wirelessly sending photos to a smart device. Two versions of the app will be available, however iOS users may need to wait a little longer – timing is tentatively August but TBD. Android users should be happy to know that the app is expected to be available on Google Play by the time units ship. The project goal is to raise $15,000 to fund initial production and units are estimated to ship in July 2014.
The Perks. If the campaign is successful, Case will be distributed to backers for $79 in a choice of white or black. Larger backer commitments afford members the equivalent of a group discount. Up to five backers will have the opportunity to become Development Partners by donating $9,999 to the campaign. Development Partner status affords you 150 Cases, and a trip to China (flight and hotel included) to meet the minds behind Case. Free tour guide also included for the duration of your trip.
The Potential. Nikon, Canon and other camera manufacturers offer Wi-Fi functionality in their interchangeable lens cameras that covers almost all of what Case claims it can do. However, MaxStone is a similar product on Kickstarter which was recently funded at three times its goal amount, so that can help make the case for Case even if it lacks MaxStone’s charming design.
Ever notice how so many iPad cases aren’t nearly as functional and cool as the iPad itself? Presenting the DuCase, an iPad case with a hinge providing 270 degrees of rotation so that a perfect angle is possible for every activity. Most iPad cases only provide two or three angling options, so the This allows it to be used in a range of pictured scenarios such as hanging off the foot of a bed.. The DuCase works with iPad versions 2, 3, 4, Air, and Mini. Pricing is a bit higher than other premium cases at $50 and a DuCase with genuine leather costs $65. Upon reaching a funding goal of $50,000, the DuCase will be available to backers in June 2014.
Plumbing was invented by the Romans, who were not advised of the eventual arrival of smartphones vulnerable to water. This may have something to do with why there’s no good place to put your mobile companion when taking a shower. Londoner Georgey Sheehy seeks to bridge the words of water and wireless with the HOYO. While there are many waterproof pouches for smartphones and tablets, the HOYO allows you to play through a protective barrier while affixed to a wall or even embedded inside a shower curtain. That latter configuration will involve taking a knife to your bathroom’s bare body barrier, but offers the advantage of easy insertion and removal as well as placing the all-important potential porthole on the other side of where the water is. Still, that could make HOYO a no-go, you know? The £15 HOYO should be available in either wall or shower curtain configurations in June 2014.