15
Jul
InkCasePlus-Thumb

Five months after demoing working InkCase Plus prototypes at this year's Mobile World Congress, Oaxis has taken to Kickstarter to get its hands on some cold hard cash. And it's paying off. Already the company has amassed over $100,000 in pledges, surpassing its funding goal on just the first day. The idea of a case that adds a Bluetooth-connected secondary e-ink display to a phone apparently has a lot of people plenty excited. As of right now, over 500 of them. Nevertheless, $30,000 of their funding has come from three $10k sales, $15k from five $3k sales, $13k from thirteen $1k sales, and $7.2k from eight $900 sales. At those rates, it only takes a few.

The original InkCase bound the display to the backside of a phone, requiring users to stick to one screen or the other. For the sequel, Oaxis is making the InkCase more versatile. People can use the screen in combination with a leather case (the FitCase) that rests it on top of their phone's standard display. From here, the InkCase Plus serves as a way to read notifications, ebooks, or a number of basic apps without having to turn on a handset's battery-sucking high definition display.

InkCasePlus1

In this form factor, the InkCase Plus still requires people to play favorites with their phone screen. So Oaxis has provided the option for people to flip the unit around and opt for a dual-screen experience instead. Given the difference between the two displays, this will be far from a Kyocera Echo-style setup (which is probably a good thing). But it should allow for at least some degree of multitasking.

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InkCase Plus resembles Pebble in a number of ways. Both rely on monochrome displays and only work with apps explicitly designed to run on the device. Oaxis has created a cycling app so that you can strap the unit to your handlebars and read real-time information as you peddle. The product can also pull down album art and control music playback. The company is inviting developers to create software using its SDK and APIs, but it remains to be seen what we can expect down the road.

Specs:

  • 3.5” (8.75cm) E Ink display in a compact 2.25” (5.7cm) x 4.25” (10.8cm) body.
  • InkCase+ uses industry standard BlueTooth technology to communicate with smartphones.
  • At just 45g and 5mm thick the InkCase+ is one of the smallest and lightest information displays on the market.
  • 500mAh lithium polymer battery allowing 7 days of standby time, 3400 pages of reading or 19 hours of continuous operation.
  • InkCase+ supports all Android smartphones running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above.

With or without your money, this product is going to come into fruition. What matters now is how much you want to pay and whether you're ready to call dibs. The InkCase Plus will go for $139 at launch, but there's still time to claim one for at least $79. There are still twenty-nine days to go, but looking at how quickly the project has raised money, the lowest price may not stick around for long.

InkCase Plus: E Ink screen for Android phone

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    I think this is an interesting product, but I will say their backing numbers are really, really fishy.

    $30,000 from three backers.
    $15,000 from five backers.
    $13,000 from thirteen backers.
    $7,200 from eight backers.
    $6,110 from thirteen backers.

    That's 63% of funding (and over 70% of the goal amount) from just 7.8% of the total number of backers. That doesn't quite add up for me.

    • Ara Wagoner

      I think they had big-ticket backers already lined up to ensure that no matter what they get from the public they DO get funded. Which isn't all that surprising to me considering what their intended case right now is for. The Moto X isn't gonna get enough votes, so it's a turnoff for me. The M8 or M7 might have a shot, though.

    • evolutionx1

      The journey of Walter White and Skylar White continues!

  • Pal

    Just goes to show how bad our current battery technology is. Not many would choose e-ink over a color display if battery life wasn't an issue.

    • Derik Taylor

      I know I would jump for an E-Ink display for the battery gains, though I would hate to carry around a second phone to accomplish that. I would rather an E-Ink tablet kind of accessory for the kind of purpose this is meant to meet.

    • xHabeasCorpusx

      I agree with you but another reason why people would choose e-ink is due to the fact that you can see the screen in direct sunlight without the need of a back light. That's huge for a lot of people and even if the battery issues are solved e-ink maybe still around until they can find a way to really do screens outside right.

    • pinkeena

      Oh I want one! So much easier on my eyes when reading. I suppose it depends on how you use your phone and tablet. A lot of people mainly consume news articles and books. And lots of it. Hope they make these for tablets. I'm sure someone in China is on it!

  • Steve Freeman

    This would be great for my Nexus 7, which I use a lot more often for reading...especially if it was an E-Ink display like the Paperwhite or Glowlight which could be read in low-light conditions as well. For my phone...not as much.

    • CoffeeZombie

      My thought, as well. I don't see myself buying this for my phone, but if I could get something like this on my N7 (and Play Books/Kindle/etc. updates to work with it), that would be awesome.

  • WORPspeed

    I like the dual display, back of the phone is black and white, front is HD color, flip em around and you have 2 screens to look at.....but but...

    Limited usecase, especially with android wear taking over your notifications, maybe they should have created a e-ink android-wear watch, that is both sturdy and lasts much longer on a charge (to bring with you when you go camping, traveling, or otherwise away from an outlet for a while)

    Man I am just full of good ideas :P

  • Jephri

    Someone buy him a microphone and a soundbooth. Maybe make someone else with more charisma the spokesman. The transitions between the scenes with the girl and him talking were jarring. In fact I don't think his portion was necessary at all. The product looks like it has potential, but in its current build it looks very clunky and rather ugly. I would love to see adoption of similar products by some of the major phone manufactures, like an sview case with a eink display on the lower portion.

  • primalxconvoy

    "...without having to turn on a handset's battery-sucking high definition display."

    Hang on, isn't keeping bluetooth on just as battery-sucky, if not more, than just looking at the screen of a regular phone?

    • pfmiller

      That entirely depends on how long you are turning the screen on for. It probably wouldn't take much of a reduction in screen time to be worthwhile.

  • kpjimmy

    Ok it says for android phones and specifies GS5 but then offers a "pouch". 80/90 bux for a pouch? And what about people who change out phones when the next Nexus is out or the GS6?. I guess they intend to offer different cases down the road?

    Not too keen on it really. Good idea, but the details are not all there for me to commit my money to KS. Maybe I'll reserve a spot and decide to fund it or not.

    PS: Reminds me of a Palm or Treo PDA lol.

  • Roland

    these guys were at computex this year, hands on right here ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAXG4Pn1txM

  • Bennyhaha

    I just don't know if I'd trust a guy who calls himself "G-Jay"

  • GloriaPThorne

    my roomate's mother-in-law makes $63 /hour on the internet . She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay check was $12252 just working on the internet for a few hours. try this web-site

    w­ww.jobsBlaze.com

    • Fadakar

      Your roomate's mother-in-law is a cunt.

  • black

    The video ppl were having a lot of fun using it. So I'm going to back this.

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