InkCase Plus: an always-on E Ink second screen for your smartphone
InkCase? I remember that from earlier in the year…Good memory! Yes, the first InkCase was shown off back in February at Mobile World Congress – but this is the InkCase Plus, and it’s a wee bit better all round?
How so?Well, the first InkCase was basically just an E Ink screen inside a case into which your phone slotted. It used Bluetooth to connect to said phone and could run just three apps.
The InkCase Plus is less, well, of a case. It looks a bit like a phone or an e-reader, in fact, and has hardware buttons on the front that allow you to control select functions on your phone: answering a call; controlling music playback; turning the pages of an ebook; triggering the camera shutter etc. It still connects via Bluetooth, of course.
The FitCase allows you to keep your InkCase and phone together
So it’s not even a case?Not on its own, but you can use the FitCase to pair it with selected Android phones in a folio case-like fashion. Then it’ll allow you to view notifications, answer calls, look at maps and pictures and control the functions mentioned above without even having to look at your phone. It’s also weatherproof, so you don’t need a case, er, for the case.
Sounds like it’ll prolong my phone’s battery lifeThat’s one of the main advantages. Apparently the average person turns on their phone 110 times a day and each time that’ll drain some power. With the InkCase Plus, you won’t need to do that so much. Also, it’ll let you read ebooks for 19 straight hours – a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 will croak after four.
InkCase Plus is waterproof and rugged, say its makers
What are its vital stats?There’s a 3.5in E Ink screen in a body that’s 108 x 57 x 5mm in size and 45g in weight. The 500mAh battery gives you eight hours of continuous operation, 2000 ebook page turns or seven days of standby time. Oh, and the InkCase Plus will work with any phone running Android 4.3 or higher – whether there’s a FitCase for your particular phone, however, is a different matter: it’s not clear precisely which models (other than the Samsung Galaxy S5) will have a FitCase made for them yet.
How can I get one?InkCase Plus is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. It’s already beaten its target, but backing the campaign to the tune of US$89 (£50) can still nab you an early bird deal, with October 2014 as the estimated delivery date. The creators say the full retail price for an InkCase Plus and FitCase will be over US$139 (£80).