A truly novel smartphone case is a rare thing, indeed. But in an ocean of homogeneous waterproof housings, billfolds, screen protectors, and other novelties, one stands above the rest: the Oaxis InkCase. Unlike most smartphone cases, it’s functional — the InkCase i7 for the iPhone 7 boasts an E Ink display that charges via magnetic induction and pairs to your phone via Bluetooth. And it’s virtually guaranteed to stretch your smartphone’s battery life without adding undue bulk.
Though the InkCase’s marketing materials seem to suggest otherwise, the case’s E Ink screen isn’t intended as a replacement for your iPhone’s screen. Rather, it’s meant as a monochromatic complement: Instead of flipping on your iPhone’s bright, power-hungry screen to read a news item or other tome, you can opt instead to use the InkCase’s rear screen. The case’s companion app features a “Read It Now” function that automatically archives downloaded articles and ebooks for offline reading, removing advertisements as it does so.
The InkCase isn’t just a power-efficient means of reading your favorite novella. When you’re not thumbing through a book or article via the E Ink screen, it can serve up a changeable wallpaper on your smartphone’s rear. You can choose from a selection of artwork and images via the InkCase companion app, and even import photos of your own.
Oaxis contends that the case’s screen provides a superior reading image than Amazon’s Kindlereader. The InkCase i7, the latest generation, boasts a 4.3-inch scratch-resistant, always-on screen that’s higher in resolution and resistant to glare. Its two times thinner and three times lighter, to boot, and charges in half the time.
The InkCase’s utility doesn’t end with consumption. It can receive push notifications, display task lists, and integrate with Apple’s Health app to track physical activities. And it protects against knocks and bumps using micro-weave technology that absorbs and evenly distributes energy from impacts.
The InkCase i7 is available for pre-order beginning January 5. It’s nominally $130, but available for $100 for a limited time.
Oaxis showcased a line of E Ink-enabled products at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Oaxis AirScale is a combination luggage scale and power bank. And the Oaxis WatchPhone is a hybrid watch and phone featuring two-way communication, real-time location tracking, 3G voice chat, SOS safe zones, a pedometer, alarm functions, and more.