Cell Phone Accessories

Duplex Case grafts a second phone onto the back of an iPhone 6

Sometimes it would be handy to have a second smartphone on hand. That way, if one of them runs out of juice, the second device can be used to make an urgent phone call. But having two separate devices would be a hassle also because it would require a consumer to buy a second smartphone and then schlep both devices around.

Duplex is a case for the iPhone 6 that doubles as a second smartphone. Its back panel acts as a smartphone, complete with a display. Meanwhile, the case also charges the iPhone. The iPhone Duplex Case frame’s dimensions are 142.3 x 70.5 x 8.3mm, its main body thickness is 6mm, and its total weight is 74 grams.

Duplex ships in June. Future pricing isn’t available. But early bird Kickstarter backers can get one for a pledge starting at $49. Its makers have a modest goal of raising $5,000 by May 11. This is a device that many consumers may find handy. For now, the major obstacle is the fact that it is only for iPhone 6 users. But its makers are developing similar cases for other unspecified models.



Ultra-slim Wekey Pocket folding keyboard may be thin on experience

Just because a keyboard folds up doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy to drag around with us while traveling. If it can’t fit in a pocket, one can make a case that a keyboard still isn’t much more portable than a traditional keyboard that doesn’t fold up.

Wekey Pocket is a wireless, foldable keyboard with a QWERTY keyboard and a thickness of just under .24 inches, allowing it to easily slip inside a pocket. Its makers claim Wekey is the world’s thinnest and lightest keyboard, pointing out that existing foldable keyboards are more than .39 inches thick when folded.

Cell Phone Accessories Television

WeKast streaming stick lets all devices stream to your TV

Streaming content from a computer, smartphone or tablet to a large screen is a common way to make presentations now in the worlds of business and education. However, there is all too often a technical problem, such as the inability to get a wireless connection, that gets in the way.

WeKast is a pocket-sized dongle that plugs into any HDMI or VGA port and makes it simple to stream a presentation from a mobile device to a TV, projector screen or other display.

Cell Phone Accessories

Connex provides a cable as its calling card

Conventional data cables are often either too long or too short to reach the devices they are being connected to. Another frequent issue with cables is that they tend to get tangled up –- especially when there is more than one of them.

Connex is a flat universal data cable that’s been pressed into the shape of a credit card. It’s made of durable synthetic silicone that allows it to stretch up to 18 inches and then collapse again when needed. Connex ships in June at $15 for a Micro USB version and $19 for an Apple Lightning connection version. But early bird Kickstarter backers can get them for pledges starting at $9 or $13, respectively. Its makers hope to raise $5,000 by April 18.

This is an enormously handy accessory to have for a wide range of devices. But a version that can stretch more than 18 inches would be even handier for some consumers. Users of devices that don’t use Lightning and Micro USB, including older Apple devices, are out of luck, so more compatibility options would be nice also.


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.

Automotive Connected Objects

Radiomize helps drivers keep their eyes on the road

editors-choiceDistracted driving remains a major problem that causes many needless accidents. Dashboard mounts for smartphones don’t really resolve the issue because they still require drivers to take their eyes off the road to look at their devices. Heads-up displays, meanwhile, tend to be costly, typically focus only on driving-specific information, and have raised their own set of safety concerns.

patent-claimedRadiomize is a steering wheel touchpad cover that sends commands to smartphones via patented gesture control technology. In addition to taking control of smartphone functions, it reads aloud text and social messages, as well as news that would be of interest to the driver.


ProView S3 steadies your video when shooting on smartphones

One of the major obstacles to shooting quality video is keeping the camera steady so that viewers don’t end up becoming dizzy and unable to watch the finished product. That’s especially the case with inexperienced videographers using smartphones or other cameras without good stabilization functionality.

ProView S3 is a 3-axis gimbal for smartphones designed to record video stable enough to look like it was shot by a professional. Its makers are positioning ProView S3 as an especially good stabilization option for large 4K smartphones including the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S6. ProView S3’s adjustable mount can handle any smartphone with a screen 4.7-5.7 inches. The device ships in July. Future pricing isn’t available, but early bird Indiegogo backers can get one for pledges starting at $125. ProView S3’s makers hope to raise $300,000 by March 3.

ProView S3 seems to be a good option for smartphone users to shoot better video -– at least for those whose devices will fit its mount. One standout feature is that it’s designed so that the user can easily release the phone grip with one hand, while using the other hand to insert or remove the phone.



A selfie stick for the non-tourist, the NEXT Selfie Stick combines functions for everyday

The scourge of the selfie stick is here to stay, for better or for worse. What truly determines the kind of species we all are is how we deal with it. Some want to do away with them altogether, but let’s face it: they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

Instead, the team over at the Netherlands-based NEXT took on the challenge of making the universally cringe-inducing selfie stick into something that someone could use without embarrassment. Its NEXT Selfie Stick takes a normal selfie stick and tacks on 1000 lumens of LED lighting for better night shots, a Bluetooth connection for triggering photo taking, and a 2600 mAh power bank that charges most smartphones twice.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

ProShot waterproof iPhone 6 case sets its sights on GoPro competition

The enhanced cameras on Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6s smartphones offer some of the same functionality as action cameras. But consumers who spend hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone are likely not going to want to risk damaging it during extreme sports activities. The iPhone is also not waterproof.

patent-claimedProShot is a waterproof case for the iPhone 6 and 6s whose makers are positioning as a rival to GoPro action cams. The case comes with two interchangeable lids that can handle extreme environments, including a Deep Dive lid that is waterproof down to 90 feet, according to its Kickstarter campaign. The case is also shockproof and can be mounted on nearly any surface, it says. An app for iOS enables the user to switch between slow motion, photo and video using buttons on the ProShot.