Launched on Kickstarter earlier this week and doubling the funding goal already, Lunecase is a new type of iPhone case that harvests electromagnetic energy from the smartphone and uses it to power a LED light on the back of the case. When you receive a call, the LED light built into the back of the case will light up with a call icon. A similar icon is displayed when you receive a text message. This type of visual notification could be particularly useful when the phone has been silenced and placed face down on a flat surface.
The Lunecase isn’t powered by the iPhone battery, but rather the low levels of electromagnetic energy emitted by the iPhone, fairly common with mobile devices. The Lunecase is only compatible with GSM networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) and will not work with CDMA networks (Verizon and Sprint). The case sizes will fit the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S. The creators of the Lunecase, Conceptor, displayed an early model of the case at CES 2014, but that version used a green LED ring positioned around the Apple logo to provide notifications rather than separate white icons to indicate the difference between a call or a text message.
Interestingly, the Lunecase continues to display that phone icon while the call is in progress. If you like to use fake calls to remove yourself from uncomfortable social situations, that’s just not going to work if the people around you are aware how the Lunecase works. One repeated concern with the case is that it potentially impact call quality, but the creators have indicated that prototype testing over the last several months haven’t indicated any impact on the GSM network.
Similar to other cases in this style, the Lunecase includes a slight lip on the front so the iPhone screen doesn’t actually touch the flat surface when placed face down. The case is made of hard plastic on the inside and a thin rubber coating on the outside. It’s going to be available in colors other than basic black once the Kickstarter project comes to a close. While many of the early funding levels are gone already due to heavy interest, the Lunecase can be funded at a $39 price point. The team is also offering a discount on the future iPhone 6 version of the case, a model that’s expected to be released within three months after the launch of the iPhone 6.
The projected timeline of the project seems to be fairly quick compared to other Kickstarter projects. Prototype development has already been completed and the team is moving into pre-production mode. Conceptor expects to have the first Lunecase samples during this month and will finalize testing on those samples during June.
The first production run for consumers is expected to begin during July 2014 and the product will actually ship during August 2014. If you are interested in funding this project, be aware that many crowdfunded projects miss projected dates due to overseas manufacturing issues and could delay the final product by weeks or even months.