Smartphones have spoiled today’s consumers with bright, gorgeously colorful screens. With each passing year, these screens grow bigger and become better at displaying the expanding variety of mobile content. The biggest downside to this is the horrid battery life most devices are cursed with and, as a result, people have to be picky with what they consume throughout the day.
Simply leaving a screen on to read takes a fair amount of battery power. To address this huge problem, a team at Oaxis has come up with the InkCase Plus, an E Ink screen that uses Bluetooth LE to communicate with Android devices. This union allows a wide variety of information to be accessed instantly without using what precious little battery power most devices have. Compatible apps can send notifications, navigation information, display e-books, or show fitness information.
The InkCase Plus is best used in conjunction with a leather FitCase. Doing so places the screen on the front of the case so that all this information can be accessed with a tap, even in the absence of a power source. While the InkCase Plus provides about 19 hours of reading time, the FitCase is currently only available for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, making its pretty limited in practical use. Both products are being sold together for $139.
The InkCase Plus is a novel way of approaching the problem most smartphone manufacturers choose to ignore, even if what it is is another screen for your screen. Looking past that, E Ink integration makes a lot of apps so much more useful and suddenly makes glare less of a problem. Their biggest issue is the complete lack of support for the vibrant amount of Android hardware, but when isn’t that a problem with Android?