Cell Phone Accessories

Linkmount is a versatile phone leash for the screen smasher in your life

linkmountTaking a concept as simple as preventing people from dropping their phones and turning it into a versatile smartphone accessory is no easy feat. The Linkmount is such a device, offering a reusable, sturdy system to keep phones from being damaged. The phone accessory offers a detachable leash that can be tied to any belt loop or worn around the neck in addition to a ring that slides out and can be worn around a finger or used as a stand. A phone stand is one thing, but a device like this that has so many great features is a simple must-own for anyone dedicated to getting the most from their smartphone. Backers who pledge $20 can get their Linkmount in December.

Cell Phone Accessories Sensors/IoT

Duet won’t let your phone out of its sight

The Premise. There’s nothing quite as worrisome as the panic that sets in after realizing there is no longer a smartphone in the pocket it belongs in. There’s also few ways to figure out where a lost phone has gotten to without the help of somebody who wants to do the right thing. Now there’s a device to put an end to both problems.

The Product. The PROTAG Duet is a simple tag that uses Bluetooth Low Energy as it rests on any clothes, bags, wallets, or anything else. When the registered phone goes ten meters outside the Duet’s range, an alarm goes off to let users know that their phone is not currently with them. Once within range, a button on the Duet will cause the phone to ring, even if it’s in silent mode. There are privacy options to keep any alarms from going off in professional environments, and what’s best is the device works both ways. If a Duet owner puts the tag on their wallet and then drops the wallet, the PROTAG app on the phone will alert the user and tell them as they get closer and closer to where the item is located.

The Pitch. The campaign video features a likable yet forgetful young man who constantly loses his phone until the Duet changes things. The campaign itself goes into more details about the technology included in Duet and some of the other features such as the ability to track up to 10 tags with the iOS or Android companion apps. PROTAG wants to raise $5,000 to reduce production costs by ordering components in bulk.

The Perks. Duets are available for pledges as low as $17 plus $5 shipping outside Singapore, impressive considering the proposed $59 retail price. Higher tiers are available which offer a discount on batch ordering. Duet is expected to ship between May and June of this year.

The Potential. There are a lot of devices like these coming out that are designed to help people stop losing their items using Bluetooth, NFC, or just plain human decency. Duet looks to be a little more sophisticated than many because of its two-way performance. Whether losing a phone and getting an alert in time to grab it, or dropping a wallet and using a phone to locate it, Duet can handle it. It’s not the most precise method, and it might still require some hard searching, but it’s better than having no information on where to find lost items.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Ember takes low-light iPhone photos beyond the flash

The Premise. According to a 2013 study, 23% of all smartphone users take at least one photo a day with their phone’s camera. While the result is more visual media than ever and the meteoric rise of the “selfie,” the ever-popular camera doesn’t always provide best results. Every new generation of phone promises more and more megapixels, but what about lighting? What will it take to get more than a basic flash?

The Product. Enter the Ember, an iPhone accessory that naturally attaches to the contours of the iPhone 5 and 5s, providing warm light that makes photos pop and stand out. The Ember makes the phone’s back panel a 56 LED light source with an independent power source that lasts for up to 4 hours of continuous light. Because it’s independently powered, the Ember can even be removed and held in a different position to provide my dynamic staging to any otherwise low-light photography. Color and diffusion filters are available that can be slid in and out of the housing without any fuss. Additionally, the top of the device can be removed to support any peripheral lenses.

The Pitch. With a video that calls out to the heart of every Instagram addict and selfie genius, the Ember introduces itself as a fully capable addition to any 5-series iPhone. What really makes the strongest point however, are side-by-side comparisons of night photos taken with the built-in iPhone flash versus the Ember. The colors are warmer, the details more natural, and the overall aesthetic is much more pleasing. Naturally, Instagram is among the social networks that Ember is present on. Creator Jedd Goble needs $30,000 to make his dream of well-lit mobile photography a reality. At this time the only stretch goal available is that at $50,000, Ember will be fully funded for large-scale production.

The Perks. Getting an Ember in choice of white or black, with tripod adapter and warming filter, takes a pledge of $59. The Pro Package at $99 will include additional colored filters.

The Potential. While a bit big and ungainly, the accessory perfectly complements the modern Bohemian market that Apple has worked so hard to cultivate. Attaching an Ember makes any iPhone scream business in the front, fashion shoot in the back. The features of the Ember stand out against its competitors and are well-designed to appeal to the finicky perfectionism of professional photographers while being simple enough for the late-night party crowd. The Ember might not be for everyone, but people who always have their phone out taking pictures for social media will definitely want to pick one up.