In case you have never attended the International CES, let me break it down for you. The North Hall is the place to be for iPhone and smartphone accessories. Anything that clips to or pairs with a smartphone is on display, and it is here that you will find Otterbox, Speck, and all the other big names in the phone case industry.
A world away in the South Hall, I came across a company called VYSK that offered a different kind of phone case. While other cases are concerned with protecting your phone from physical damage such as drops and spills, VYSK is the only case concerned with protecting your phone’s data.
It is my opinion that privacy over your personal information is poised to become a great battle of the 21st century. Currently, it’s a bit like the Wild West with every company and service governing itself regarding user data. The idea behind VYSK is that a case should offer protection from all forms of electronic intrusion by offering physical and software methods for protecting user data.
We caught up with SPECK Products at CES 2015 and got a look at their new line of CandyShell cases.
In case you are not familiar with Speck, the CandyShell cases are a 2-piece design that incorporates a MIL-SPEC drop tested case with a screen protector that helps prevent the glass from shattering. What makes this case unique from other drop-proof cases is the CandyShell’s incredibly slim profile. This case offers protection without the bulk of a large and unwieldy case.
These cases are available for the iPhone 5 as well as the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. A special bonus for iPhone 6 Plus owners is the CandyShell Grip, which is a rubberized grip surface that has been added to the back of the case. This is a useful feature for oversize phones such as the iPhone 6 Plus.
We also got a peek at the MightyShell line of rugged cases. While the CandyShell cases feature a 2-layer design, the Mightyshell uses a 3-layer design with an impact-absorbing layer for ultimate protection. This protects the phone from drops up to 8 feet high while only being 0.18″ thicker than the CandyShell case. The MightyShell comes in 3 different colors plus a clear model.
Both the CandyShell and the MightyShell cases will be available starting in January 2015 from Speck Products.
Okay, survey time. Do you use a case to protect your smartphone? Well according to a recent survey by the NPD Group, approximately 25% of smartphone owners do not use a case at all. The NPD Group is a market research firm based in Port Washington, New York. They have been studying consumer usage of electronics (and a dozen other industries) since 1984.
Their most recent survey (officially titled “Smartphone Case Segmentation Study”) asked more than 3,200 U.S. consumers ages 13 and up about their preferences regarding phone cases in September of 2013. What they found was surprising: 25% of smartphone users do not use a case to protect their phone.
Mobile accessories very rarely offer something extremely unique and artistic. Minnesota based John Woodland and Jon Lucca have earned both of those titles with their new line of paper iPhone cases called Twig. I was completely unaware of Twig until a co-worker of mine was looking extremely fashionable with her new Wilco phone case. Personally, the draw to the case had nothing to do with the band Wilco, but everything to do with the detail, artistic vision, and the fact that these cases were actually made of stacks of paper. At first glance the works of art resembled Andre Amador’s beach drawings, but on a phone case. The one downfall is you will pay a premium to own one. Twig will attract a niche market who will be okay with paying between 60 and 80 USD for an iPhone case. On the flip side these cases are 100% made from start to finish in Minnesota. Keep in mind there is also a 30 day try policy, and a six month guarantee of defects. That’s what I call product confidence. Twig’s website showcases product only for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and 5S.
Before walking out the door each day, I check my pockets: do I have my phone, my wallet, and my keys? It’s a lot of gear to carry around, but with the new Commuter Series Wallet Case from Otterbox, I could condense my daily carry items into a single, convenient package.
I caught up with Otterbox at the 2014 International CES show and learned a few things about the Commuter Series line of wallet cases. Currently available for the Apple iPhone 5/5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4, each case has a compartment on the back which can hold credit cards, cash, keys, and other small items such as jewelry.