InkCase i6 E-ink Case for the iPhone Goes Open Source, Now Up for Pre-Order

InkCase i6 E-ink Case for the iPhone Goes Open Source, Now Up for Pre-Order e-Reading Hardware After close to seven months of silence, Oaxis is back again today with a new E-ink smartphone case.

The InkCase i6 is a custom case that adds a secondary 4.3" E-ink screen to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. It has a 460 mAh battery, 128MB internal storage, Bluetooth, and a screen resolution of 480 x 800, and is designed to turn your iPhone into an aftermarket Yotaphone.

When paired with the companion apps running on your iPhone, the InkCase i6 becomes a secondary screen. You can push images or health info or you can read an ebook from one of the apps running on the iPhone.

The InkCase i6 went up for pre-order this week on the Oaxis website. The retail price is $99. It ships in November, but I'm not entirely sure that you should get it.

InkCase i6 E-ink Case for the iPhone Goes Open Source, Now Up for Pre-Order e-Reading Hardware

While the Oaxis has always been good at making halfway decent hardware, they're not so good at software. When I reviewed their last product, the InkCase Plus, in December 2014, I thought the software was disappointingly limited. It only offered a handful of features, and the InkCase Plus wasn't even capable of functioning when untethered from an iPhone or an Android device.

And to make matters worse, Oaxis hasn't added any features since last year, which means that the InkCase i6 will only be as marginally useful as the InkCase Plus.

But as bad as that sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Oaxis announced in August that they were releasing the software as open source, thus opening up the possibility that anyone can develop iOS apps that will work with an InkCase.

That is great news, but it does come with a caveat; I have no confirmation that Oaxis has followed through. I can't find the code on the Oaxis website or on Github, and I don't see any mention of it in the InkCase support forums.

If you're thinking of buying an InkCase and developing your own apps, you should check first before putting your money down. (And then let me know what you find out.)

This is potentially a fascinating device, but it won't meet that potential until someone does something about the software.

If you're that someone, feel free to drop me a line. I'd love to write about your app.

Oaxis via Cult of Mac

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

6 Comments

  1. Name (Required)26 September, 2015

    I would pay 99% for the case in a heartbeat. The problem is, I would have to buy an insanely expensive iPhone to pair it with.

    I wish they produced a secondary e-ink screen that could be paired with a generic Android phone. There was a Kickstarter for such a device and it came out as a big disappointment.
    OK … Let me see …
    Here it is:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/378232716/inkcase-plus-e-ink-screen-for-android-phone
    and it talks about Open-sourcing it. I have been following that Kickstarter campaign for quite a long time.

    Go and read discussion under the announcement:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/378232716/inkcase-plus-e-ink-screen-for-android-phone/posts/1311464
    It looks like what they mean under “OpenSource” is different from my [and most probably yours as well] understanding 😉

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 September, 2015

      Oh, I had missed the discussion! Thanks!

      Yes, it looks like they didn’t really mean open source like the OSS community would expect. And that is a pity because if Oaxis would just release the software, someone is going to adopt it and improve upon it.

      Reply
  2. Name (Required)26 September, 2015

    Do not forget to read the forum at
    http://forum.inkcase.com/index.php
    Read between the lines. It looks like the project has been dormant [this is a very diplomatic way to say it] for at least half a year with a lone guy communicating with pissed-off kickstarter supporters.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 September, 2015

      Yep. I looked over the forum yesterday. it’s basically dead, with a single person tending to the corpse.

      Reply
  3. […] Érdekes kiegészít?t mutatott be a The Digital Reader. A novemberben megjelen? InkCase i6 tok egy 4,3 hüvelykes hátlapi e-ink kijelz?vel b?víti az új iPhone 6 és 6s okostelefonokat. A gyártó, az Oaxis már korábban is jelentetett meg hasonló kiegészít?ket a legnépszer?bb készülékekre, ezeknek nagy hibája azonban a nem túl jó szoftveres támogatás volt, így a felhasználók nem igazán tudták kihasználni az e-ink kijelz? jelentette el?nyöket.  Azonban a cég most bejelentette, hogy nyílt forráskódúvá teszik a kiegészít? szoftverét, így bárki fejleszthet majd alkalmazást az InkCase tokokra. (link) […]

    Reply
  4. Todd Reese16 October, 2015

    I’m curious about this product and am wondering if anyone knows if the “dormant” screen view can be changed. I’m not so hot on seeing stocks displayed all the time. I’d like to be able to customize what will be there all day long. Does anyone know?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: