Welcome to the mobile phone case revolution. I bet you did not know it was happening. But it is here and it’s time to pay attention. There is a seismic shift occurring in the world of mobile. It will have a fundamental impact on the world’s of IOT and mobile.
Smartphone’s are becoming increasingly commoditised and stale. The latest samsung galaxy S6 or S7 are only incrementally more sophisticated than each other. By contrast mobile phone case technology and smartphone case manufacturing techniques are taking off. Allowing you to personalise and customise your smartphone in form, design and function through your cell phone case. Smartphone cases are already enhancing smartphone functionality. They are already offering faster routes to mobile users for new technologies - a good example is i-BLADES partnership with Bosch Sensortec around the BME 680 environmental sensor.
When will the mobile phone case be more important for offering new features than the smartphone itself? With modular phone case technology that day is coming ever closer….
We covered the lack of innovation in smartphones previously in this article mobile-news-innovation-modular-phone-accessories. It covers the latest mobile news and how smart accessories are becoming increasingly important to the ecosystem.
Smartphones in form are becoming full screen handheld devices. That means that smartphones increasingly look the same. Even LG have openly admitted this see here in smartphones will look the same for years.
Take for example cameras. Can you tell the difference between a 16MP camera or 20MP? Or small mobile screens with OLED vs HD vs 4K vs Retina Display?
Incremental improvements as the technology is available. Smartphone manufacturers assemble components. The components they purchase are slightly better than the ones they had the year before. But not radical new developments.
There are technologies that are booming outside of smartphones. But because of lifecycles and space they are not getting into smartphones. Micro sensors are a good example. Micro sensors are a large component in the growth of the internet of things (a world of inter-connected devices). So many different devices are becoming connected and are coming to market with mico sensors.
Previously smartphones were impressive due to the sensors they had in them. But with this sensor explosion how many sensors do you think are in the iPhone?
Well the answer is 5: Three-axis gyro; accelerometer; Proximity senor; Ambient light sensor; Barometer.
New sensors are one of the key areas for future smartphone innovation according to t3 in an recent article on innovation. But the speed and the actual arrival of these functions is questionable.
The desire to personalise phones has been around for a long time. The reality is its desired but not something smartphone manufacturers can offer. Its no news then that mobile phone cases are the accessory being used to personalise smartphones. This goes across the spectrum from different colours to even more radical approaches. Below are some of the coolest looking cases we have seen on BoredPanda.com. The ones shown were voted as the most popular. You can find the rest here.
Google recently offered people the ability to customise Nexus mobile phone cases. You can have a photo or a favourite place on the mobile phone case and this will also then be on your live wallpaper. There is also a button at the back of the case to launch your favourite app. It has proven a very popular development see this article in Wired about live cases for nexus phones. You can purchase one for yourself here at the Google online phone case store (if you have a Nexus phone).
This is clearly Google pushing what a phone case can do and recognizing the trend of personalisation.
One step further cases are already improving smartphone functions. The best example is the sea of battery cases out there you can choose from.
In addition to these there are case that offer other functions like these 10 phone cases that will change your iPhone.
As we shared in our blog last week we question buying 1 phone case that only does one thing.
Mobile phone cases can already provide additional functions. Modular phone cases are set to offer even more functional enhancements - limitless. Modular phone case technology means you can add almost anything to a smartphone. This is done by leveraging the power, connectivity or a screen of a smartphone through the modular mobile phone case. Fewer accessories, fewer cables and more personalised and relevant features for the user.
That is what the promise of the modular phone case offers.
At i-BLADES we have a road map of multiple functions that we will be adding over the next few months. Giving users more choice about what they need as part of their smartphone experience.
This can be far ahead of the smartphone as the platform is simple to add to. You do not need complex integration into a smartphone. Its just clip-on to a smartphone case. This was the rationale in the partnership with Bosch BME680. It was a way to bring their environmental sensor technology to smartphones ahead of the smartphone development cycle. Read more about the i-BLADES and BME680 partnership.
“By leveraging the i-BLADES Smartcase Platform, we at Bosch Sensortec can accelerate market deployment of our sensors and can collect market and usage data faster and in a diversity of smartphone solutions,” said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec
This is clearly just the start.
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