The InkCase Plus is designed to be a universal smartphone case which adds a secondary E-ink screen to almost any smartphone. Launched as part of an incredibly successful KickStarter campaign in July 2014, this smartphone accessory is scheduled to ship to backers in October and hit store shelves.
I can’t tell you where you’re going to be able to buy one online, but I can report that the InkCase Plus appears to be on schedule to ship. It appeared on the FCC website this week, clearing the last regulatory hurdle required to ship in the US.
The InkCase Plus is basically a subcompact ereader with a 3.5″ E-ink screen which is designed to pair with smartphones over Bluetooth. It has a truly minimalist design which lacks a frontlight, touchscreen, or Wifi, but what it’s missing in hardware it makes for in versatility.
Gajah has come up with a what I would call a universal smartphone case. They’ve developed a two-part smartphone case which enables uses to combine the ereader component of the InkCase Plus with a case built for single smartphone model.
It works something like this (you can click on the image to see an animated GIF, if you like):
Gajah is committed to producing cases for 10 of the more popular smartphone models owned by the KickStarter backers, including 4 Samsung models ().
They’re also going to make a couple one size fits most cases. The smaller model will be sized to fit smartphones with screens between 4.3″ and 5.2″, while the larger unit is intended to work with screens between 5.3″ and 6″. They released a few photos of the sample:
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early sample of the InkCase Plus back in July. I didn’t get a case with it, but that didn’t get in the way of pairing the Plus with a tablet and putting it through its paces.
It was intended to work as a secondary screen, and it required an app running on your Android device to send over each screenful of data (I’m told this will change in in the production unit, which will be able to work as a standalone ereader).
Thanks to the very sharp (360 x 600) screen even small fonts were quite readable, and I also noted that the companion app and the Sports app also worked smoothly.
I’m looking forward to my unit arriving later this month. I was one of the backers, but I didn’t quite get in fast enough. Even though I joined the campaign when it was only a few hours old, I missed out on the $79 early adopter package, and instead invested $99.
In any case, I can’t wait to see it.