BreakingModern — With the holiday season just a few short months away, and CES 2016 looming just afterward, vendors are already previewing innovative new accessories for smartphones, tablets and the Apple Watch at events in New York City. Here’s a quick peek at seven new chargers, cases, cables and other accessories that are just around the corner.
Displayed at the Pepcom’s Digital Experience! show, this is a product that works with any smartphone or tablet outfitted with USB. TYLT’s Y-Charge devices let you charge two devices simultaneously through a car’s cigarette lighter adapter. This latest version, though, also supports Qualcomm’s QuikCharge 2.0 specification, meaning that phones enabled for the spec — like the Motorola Droid Turbo and Samsung Galaxy S6 — get an estimated 75 percent boost over traditional charging times. The new Y-CHARGE also comes with TYLT’s proprietary SmartDetect technology for providing the fastest possible charging time for every device. According to Jacqui Johnstone, a TYTL company rep, phones and iPads will charge up to 2.4 times faster than with conventional devices. The Y-Charge (QUIK) is available on TYLT’s website for $39.99.
Handl — “dropless phone case” for iPhone and Galaxy Note
Now under development by Hirsch and Light Company, Handl is billed as a “revolutionary new dropless phone case designed as a natural extension to your hand.” In a visit to the booth during CE Week’s ShowStoppers Media Day, I learned that the glove-type enclosure was created by an artist so he could paint with one hand while texting on the phone with his other hand. In trying out the handmade leather case, I found that slipping my thumb through an opening from the back of the case to the front didn’t let me manipulate the iPhone 6 completely. However, there’s enough built-in flexibility through a hinge device to bring your index finger to the front too. That did work for me. Right now, Handl is only available for iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. “We’re working on a more adaptable version. That’s next in the pipeline,” said a company spokesperson.
The Bumper — Ruggedized Protection for Apple Watch
If you’ve plunked down several hundred (or thousand) dollars for a “big” (42 mm) version of the Apple Watch, there’s really no reason why the digital timepiece needs to stay in your desk drawer when you decide to head out for a day of skydiving, mountain climbing or some other extreme sport. That’s the rationale behind the Bumper, a wraparound shield. Although the watch is claimed to be water-resistant, ActionProof’s the Bumper is designed to add extra protection through 360-degree shock absorption, while still allowing access to features like the screen and button. Demo’d at Digital Experience!, the Bumper is slated to ship in white, black and orange editions on July 6 for $35.
Phorm — Hard Keypad for iPad Mini
If you’ve chosen the small form factor of the iPad Mini, it’s probably because you don’t want to lug around a lot of volume and weight. But the iPad doesn’t have a hard keyboard, of course, and toting an external one would only add more baggage. Phorm, a new product from startup Tactus Technology, is designed to solve this problem by acting as an all-in-one case, hard keyboard, and, and screen protector. When you need a tactile typing surface, it is there, but when you don’t, it goes away and you get a flat touchscreen instead. The Phorm is currently available for pre-order for $104, with shipments expected to begin later this summer.
Clip & Talk Battery Pack Clip-Ons
The maker of Clip & Talk Bluetooth car kits is about to expand in an even more mobile direction. Some time in July, Olixar will release three new clip-on devices aimed at extending the life of Bluetooth sessions by adding extra battery power, said a company rep at the Consumer Electronics Association’s CE Week show. The wearable clip-on battery packs will be priced at $39, $69 and $99. The top-of-the-line model will also contain monitoring capabilities for measuring stats like your pulse and temperature, with still unannounced new health tracking features to be added in the future.
FLYP-DUO Charger and Sync Cable
TYLT’s FLYP-DUO charger and sync cable innovates in a couple of ways. First, it contains both micro-USB and Lightning connectors. Second, it also includes a patented “reversible USB connector,” which allows users to insert the USB cable into a port in any direction, without concern as to whether the plug is “upside down.” Like the Y-CHARGE (QUIK), it’s currently available on TYLT’s website. Pricing is $24.99 for a one-foot cable and $29.99 for a one-meter cable.
Energi Sliding Power Cases for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge
These new sliding power cases from TYLT are the only products on this list to be available anywhere as of yet. The products have been shipped to Sprint stores nationwide, and will be purchasable from TYLT’s website as of early August. TYLT touts the two power cases as two of the first to include built-in Qi charging. When placed on a Qi-enabled charger like TYLT’s Vu, the case charges the phone first and the case later.
All Screenshots: Jacqueline Emigh