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

EVOL sees no evil in creating a modular phone case

They may be called smartphones, but — unlike we humans — they can’t really improve based on what they’ve learned. The capabilities they’re born with are the capabilities with which they’re discarded, at least when it comes to their hardware.

That said, the iPhone may soon be able to tap into a range of performance-enhancing modules thanks to the design of EVOL, a case that can accommodate up to four rectangular add-ons. This resulting design looks somewhat like a metallic Hershey bar. EVOL modules include the expected battery and flash memory as well as a more powerful camera flash and some specialty lens modules such as fisheye and wide-angle. EVOL touts its slim form factor and integrated charging with the iPhone. As such, it’s come out with a dock that can charge both the modules an phones as well as the Apple Watch. Money is the root of all EVOL. The company seeks $50,000 by June 23rd,  A standard bundle available in black or white is $69 with an expected delivery of July.

As the world waits for the likes of Project Ara, crowdfunding campaigns are attempting to bring the benefits of the modular phone to existing popular models. EVOL is notable for its relatively slim profile that attempts to preserve the iPhone’s form factor even with modules attached. However, as with Nexpaq, it faces many obstacles in trying to build out a third-party selection of modules.



Backerjack Podcast #17: Going Kleer, Frankencases, and Android boomboxes

In sweet Episode 17 of the Backerjack Podcast, Steven Sande and Ross Rubin check out some of the latest products seeking funds and preorders:

  • HearNotes, an alternative to Bluetooth headsets that offer higher audio quality and a more reliable connection.
  • Nexpaq, a case for the iPhone and Galaxy S6 that can accommodate up to six modules ranging from flash memory to an alcohol breathalyzer
  • Zwing, a boombox with punch that incorporates an Android-based touchscreen for streaming or playing back local music and movies.

Notes: We discussed Zwing in advance of seeing its Indiegogo project page. The link above points to more details about prcing and expected availability. Also, a similar product, the Zettaly Avy, has contacted its original Kickstarter backers to note that it is ready to ship its devices.

Many thanks to HearNotes for sponsoring this episode! Please support its campaign.

Download  the episode or listen below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook. Also check out Steve’s great work on Apple World Today!