Cell Phone Accessories Music

Cobble cobbles together improved audio for iPhones

Smartphones have become the main portable device that many people rely on to listen to music on the go. However, just like most smartphone cameras lack the high-end functionality of good standalone cameras, smartphones also tend to not offer the best audio quality either.

Cobble is a battery-free, plug-and-play device for iPhones that combines a headphone amplifier with a digital-to-analog (DAC) converter to significantly improve smartphone music quality. It also works with iPods and iPads, although its compatibility is limited to only those iOS devices with Lightning connectors, from which it draws power.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Smart Shoot shows your smartphone around a scene for picture-perfect control

Smartphones have become the go-to device for many people to take photos and shoot video with. But they tend to lack several of the high-end features that are typically featured in standalone digital cameras and camcorders, including facial recognition.

Smart Shoot is a pan and tilt, motorized mount for smartphones that provides face recognition, intelligent tracking and free-hand shooting. It uses Bluetooth and works in conjunction with Android and iOS smartphones The product starts shipping in June. Future pricing isn’t provided via its Kickstarter campaign. But early bird backers can get one for a pledge starting at $88. Its maker hopes to raise $80,000 by April 3.

The device has some things in common with Galileo and Swivl, two earlier Kickstarter-funded projects. However, Galileo is designed to work with iOS mobile devices and GoPro cameras, while Swivl can be used with Android and iOS devices, as well as DSLR cameras. The largest potential obstacle for Smart Shoot is that –- from its campaign video, anyway — it doesn’t seem to move as smoothly as the earlier devices.

Cell Phone Accessories Chargers/Batteries

Soso beats the so-so option of separate cases and chargers

Cases and chargers are must-have accessories for smartphones and tablets. Having one product that performs both functions, therefore, would be convenient for many consumers. In addition to eliminating the need to buy two separate products, it would eliminate the need to schlep around two separate products.

patent-claimedSoso provides exactly that solution. It’s both a patented device case and charger for mobile devices. Soso comes in multiple form factors to fit Apple devices, and looks like a standard case. But built into the back of the cover is a charging cable that easily peels off when needed and quickly folds back in place when not needed.

Soso ships in July at future pricing of $30 for a version that works with the iPhone 6 and 6 S, $35 for the 6 Plus and 6 S Plus, $39 for iPad mini, $49 for iPad Air, and $59 for iPad Pro. But early bird Indiegogo backers can get them for pledges of $15, $20, $25, $30 and $35, respectively. The cases for iPads also serve as tablet stands. Soso’s makers hope to raise $25,000 by April 8.

This is a handy device for iOS device owners. Support for Android devices would obviously open it up to a much wider audience.


Cell Phone Accessories

ViKC projects a simpler way to text on your smartphone

Typing on a smartphone is notoriously difficult -– and also uncomfortable — for many people. Whether somebody is texting, emailing or filling out an online registration form, the phone’s buttons tend to be too darn small to type anything –- especially complete sentences -– without making at least a few mistakes.

The Virtual Keyboard Cover (ViKC) is designed to address that issue. It attaches to a smartphone like any other cover, but features a red laser diode on top that aims down onto a flat surface and can be powered on to project a virtual LED keyboard onto a table or any other flat, non-reflective work surface.

It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app that recognizes what the user is typing and transfers it to the screen. ViKC ships in July at the expected price of about $107. Its makers are hoping to raise $162,634 by Jan. 17.

Some consumers –- especially middle-aged ones — may want to give ViKC a try. Younger smartphone users tend to have little problem typing on their mobile devices for some reason, while many older consumers are too technophobic to use a smartphone to begin with. This is a variation on the projection keyboards that have been around for a long time and have tended to not work very well. A further negative is that, for now anyway, ViKC only works with an iPhone 5, 5S, 6, 6S, 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S5 or S6.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging Virtual Reality

Shot iPhone accessory takes a shot at virtual reality market

Virtual reality has become one of the hottest new technologies. But at least some of the devices using the technology are costly. Others –- like the AirVR mount that just straps a mobile device to the user’s head –- look even less comfortable and more awkward than the bulkiest of virtual reality headsets.

Shot is an affordable lens attachment for iPhones that, combined with an accompanying app, creates virtual reality videos and photos that can be shared. The attachment easily slides onto the smartphone and is made up of its own two lenses that increase the field of view of the smartphone’s camera.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Lumenati CS1 transforms iPhone’s form factor into that of a Super 8 camera

A growing number of smartphone enclosures are being introduced via crowdfunding sites that promise to improve the photo capabilities of the phones’ cameras.

patent-claimedThe Lumenati CS1 follows the recent IndieVice and olloclip Studio. But the CS1 offers a unique twist, mimicking the form factor of an old Super 8 camera. Users can opt to filter video taken with the camera like an old Super 8 movie or shoot in HD with the aid of optical quality lenses. The device also lets users add filters after they shoot and change them on the fly.

Cell Phone Accessories Health and Wellness

Snor uses mobile device, patented tech to ease night breathing

Many people snore and don’t try to remedy the problem even though their snoring often prevents them and their loved ones from getting a good night’s sleep. Snorers often are reluctant to try any of the most common treatments: implants, surgery and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.

patent-claimedSnor is a patented training device that bypasses such methods, strengthening users’ soft palate muscles and enabling them to stop snoring for months, its makers say. The device plugs into Android and iOS smartphones, and users download an accompanying app to their phones. A short tube is then inserted into the Snor device and the user’s mouth. Sucking on the tube much like one sucks from a straw helps to train the soft palate muscle and users can gauge if they are doing it correctly by looking at the app.

Cell Phone Accessories Technology

Light Phone sees the light of a voice-centric credit card-thin cell phone

Many people have become overly reliant on their cell phones, but when they need to make an urgent phone call the device’s battery is often too weak to do that. This is especially the case with smartphones, which quickly eat up battery life.

The Light Phone is a simple, inexpensive credit card-sized cellphone that is lightweight and was designed just to make phone calls. The pre-paid GSM phone works independent of the carrier that the user has a service plan with. That makes it a good device to use as a backup cellphone. Light Phone costs $100 and will ship in May 2016. Its maker is fielding white and black versions of the phone and set a Kickstarter goal of raising $200,000 by June 27.

Light Phone isn’t exactly original. There have been easy-to-use, credit card-sized backup cellphones before that were just designed for making phone calls, including the Talkase. Light Phone’s stripped-down look and features may still be appealing for many customers. Other benefits include its SIM card and an app that can be used in conjunction with the user’s primary cellphone. It also comes with 500 prepaid minutes.

Cell Phone Accessories

MODR plugs into the quest for the modular smartphone case

There are many cases available for smartphones and tablets, and few of them tout anything much beyond what rivals are also offering.

patent-claimedBut MODR offers a unique modular approach to mobile device cases, enabling users to personalize the case and the smartphone or tablet inside it through the use of interchangeable modules and camera lenses. The multiple expansion options are being made possible by a patent-pending, built-in USB hub.

Each MODR Core Pack costs $79 and come with the case and choice of any two “reModules,” while a MODR Power Pack will also be fielded adding a removable battery pack and wireless charge pad at $124. They will ship in October. MODR’s maker is hoping to raise $70,000 by June 22.

Cell Phone Accessories

CoBattery iPhone case replaces conventional charging with swappable batteries

The main problem with iPhones and other smartphones continues to be how quickly their battery power gets drained after each full charge.

CoBattery is an iPhone case that addresses the problem by replacing conventional charging with swappable batteries. The light case comes with two batteries and a charging dock. One battery stays in the case, keeping the iPhone charged, while the other battery stays in the charging dock. When users come home after several hours away, they just need to swap the used battery with the one in the dock, providing them with a fully charged smartphone in seconds. Each CoBattery will ship in December with a case, two batteries and a charging dock at $75. Its maker is hoping to raise $60,000 by June 4.

The benefits of swappable batteries continue to be debated. Samsung left them behind in its latest phones while LG embraced them. There are already many iPhone charging cases, including the Charge Case. But CoBattery should be competitive thanks to its swappable battery concept. Each of its batteries offers 2.5 times more battery life than a regular iPhone, according to its Kickstarter campaign. Negatives include the lack of iPhone 5c and 6+ support, but CoBattery’s maker intends to support more iPhone models in the future, in addition to Android and possibly other operating systems.