I may never have business cards made out of herringbone printed with ink sourced from the blood of aliens that crashed at Area 51 like American Psycho lead character Patrick Bateman, but at least I can have a phone that looks like his but is way cooler.
There is a niche market for cell phone accessories with a nostalgic flair and this iPhone case from Thumbs up is no exception.
While it succeeds in making you look like Zack Morris the next time you order a pizza from Mrs. Bliss’ English class, it does have a few drawbacks. Once you’ve popped your phone into it, only the touch screen is accessible. No ports or volume control button functionality with this guy.
But really, if anyone is buying this expecting functionality, well, they clearly need to reassess their expectations from life.
For most, a cell phone faceplate is just a means to protect their phone from every day damage. Sure, you might get a pink or purple one to add a little flair, but very rarely can you call your phone’s first line of defense art. That’s were Izozzi comes in.
Izozzi has managed to collaborate with a team of pop artists and graphic artist to create a full line of iPhone cases unlike anything available on the market. Designs range from dark Alice in Wonderland like scenes to tribal like designs and patterns.
‘Simply put – we’re in this because we love it. We love the art, the creative process behind it, and artists that have the stamina and balls to dare make a living at it,’ says John Petzinger, founder of Izozzi. ‘We love building the art into the product and get a thrill each time an izozzi case goes out the door. A lot of love here…and that’s a very cool place to be.’
You can see a few examples of the types of cases on offer below.
We’ve written a few blogs in the past about how smarthphones, with a few clever cell phone accessories and a well designed app, are revolutionizing medical diagnostics. We’ve already seen an iPhone app that can diagnose cancer. And now we have an app that can diagnose malaria by simply taking a picture of a blood sample.
This prototype for this device is a Samsung Focus and it uses a microscopic lens that attaches to the phone’s camera. Once a picture of a blood sample has been taken, it processes the photo and looks for the malaria parasites. It can then determine the number of parasites present and even isolate them in the picture by drawing a box around them.
Instead of bringing the patient to a lab, this will allow doctors to bring the lab to the patients, helping to prevent outbreaks of the disease. This has a drastic effect on diagnostic costs, which is a huge factor considering that the areas most affected by malaria are remote and poor regions of Africa.
As it stands right now, a child in Africa dies every 30 seconds from Malaria.
It’s not like Bluetooth headsets are intensely cumbersome devices. I’ve never seen someone with an ear that hangs halfway down their neck because of the weight of their hands free headset. That still doesn’t mean that this carbon fiber headset from Bluetrek isn’t cool as heck.
It weighs a whopping .25 ounces and is the world’s first carbon fiber Bluetooth device. The carbon fiber construction should make this particular Bluetooth darn near indestructible despite its petite size. It also boasts 4 hours of talk time and 5 days of standby time.
Maybe the most impressive spec though is the price tag. It will only cost $70, which is pretty reasonable for a high end Bluetooth device. Bluetrek is claiming noise cancelation technology for crystal clear sound quality, but what headset doesn’t claim that these days?
I’m not an outdoorsy person. I can’t even remember the last time I went camping. But there are plenty of people out there reading this that are cut from the ‘Survivorman’ mold. But just in case being dropped from a helicopter into the middle of the Amazon jungle with nothing but a toothpick and shoelace is too extreme for you Ralph Lauren has come up with a happy medium.
What you see below is a solar powered backback that can act as a cell phone charger for when you’re out in the woods and not next to an electrical outlet. According the Ralph’s peeps, the backpack can charge up your cell phone battery in about 3 hours.
Being green comes at a price though. The solar powered backpack will set you back $800, so if you’re looking to save the planet one cell phone recharge at a time you better start collecting more cans to take to the recycling center.
We have another Kickstarter creation for everyone to take a gander at. It’s called the GoPano, and it is a 360° video camera attachment for the iPhone 4. My first reaction when I saw this was, ‘Why would I ever need a cell phone accessory to take panoramic videos of anything ever.’ And then I really started to think about it.
Imagine the cool videos you can capture at a party or get together. Or how about taking it to a sporting event and not only capturing the winning touchdown or goal, but also simultaneously capturing the crowd reaction. All this can be captured and then when you are re-watching the video, all you need to do is swipe your finger across the screen to view the different vantage points. You literally would be taking multiple videos of the exact same moment in time from one device.
How cool is that?
Cool enough that people have donated nearly $63,000 to make this a reality, blowing away the $20,000 goal they inventors set for themselves.
While Leonardo DiCaprio tried his hardest to make conflict diamonds sexy, the fact remains that civil wars in central Africa are largely funded by the sale of minerals. And it isn’t just limited to blood diamonds. Several minerals used in the manufacturing of small electronics, like cell phones, are also produced in these conflict regions.
Next year, the federal government is forcing US companies to list where they get their materials and identify any purchases which might be linked to armed conflicts in Africa.
Some of the more commonly used materials that can be found in these regions are tin, tungsten, tantalum and titanium. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces nearly 14% of the world’s tantalum supply and 5% of the world’s tin supply.
In reaction to the impending federal regulation, Apple and Intel have already agreed to stop purchasing materials that can be linked back to conflict regions. While it’s unclear why they may have been knowingly purchasing materials from these regions in the first place, at least it is a step in the right direction.
While there isn’t any definitive proof that cell phones cause health problems, it sure hasn’t stopped the AMA from looking for that smoking gun. What we do know is that cell phones emit radiation. And radiation is bad for you.
But how bad is it? The AMA did a recent study where they had people hold one phone up to one ear that was on, and a second one up to their other ear that was turned off. The side of the brain where the phone was on saw an increased build up of glucose. Studies have suggested that glucose can develop into cancer cells.
Again, this isn’t definitive proof, but it does beg an interesting question regarding potential cell phone accessories for hypochondriacs. For example, a lead cell phone helmet. Or maybe a cell phone case with a built in Geiger counter. When the Geiger counter reaches a certain level it automatically terminates the call. AT&T already randomly terminates calls, and they don’t even have Geiger counters on their phones.
Let’s face facts. Not all phones are created equal. Take my sister’s phone for example. She hasn’t upgraded her phone in close to 6 years, despite the fact that at this point, she would have been eligible for 3 separate upgrades in that time period. Not only does her phone not have any internet capabilities of any kind, it doesn’t even have the capability to hook up to a Bluetooth headset.
But if a company called Gemalto has its way, her stupid phone will be equal to my super cool 4G smartphone in one area of new technology –NFC.
For those not familiar with NFC, it stands for Near Field Communications, and will allow us to pay for goods and services by simply swiping our phones over a receiver of some sort. The technology is already starting to seep into everyday life, and should be ubiquitous by 2012.
That’s where Gemalto comes in. They are a SIM card manufacturer, and have developed a SIM card with an NFC chip. Those SIM cards won’t just work on the latest and greatest phones either. The will work on any phone that requires a SIM card. That would be every GSM phone on planet earth.
Pretty cool, even though it gives my sister yet another reason to cling to an antique.