iPhone gadgets - the cool, the weird and the silly5
Prynt is an instant time machine. Remember those days when you ran freely on the beach, snapping photos of happiness with a Polaroid camera? Well, the idea here is exactly the same. "Turn your phone into an Instant Camera! Print anything saved to your phone or shoot in real-time" reads the description on Prynt's website. There are two versions of this gadget - Prynt Case and Prynt Pocker. The former costs only $50 and comes with 100 sheets of photo paper, while the latter will set you back $109.99 but can add augmented reality to your photos, it's more portable and comes in fresh Mint color. In the era of phone selfies and digital photography, it's nice to be able to hold a picture in your hand.
We deem Prynt cool.
Electrical muscle stimulation or EMS. Bruce Lee used it; athletes used it, and now you can use it. Your muscles contract when an electrical charge is applied, that's how your brain tells your hand to lift a book. Clever minds decided they can hack this mechanism and provide electrical stimulation from the outside. That's how EMS machines were born. They can help people with traumas recover faster, athletes build muscle in their sleep (Bruce Lee allegedly did this), and alleviate muscle cramps and pain. "PowerDot is the world's smartest muscle recovery & performance tool." A single pod with two electrodes costs $199, and if you buy two pods, you'll have to dish out $349. Frankly, we would leave EMS to the experts.
We deem PowerDot a bit weird.
Yellow Jacket Stun Gun Case
Stunners are pretty questionable as a defense tool. Thing is, most people have different pain tolerance, the effectiveness of а stunner can vary wildly depending on the skin conductivity, and finally - you might definitely stun yourself. Some of you might disagree and share stories of successful escapes, thanks to stunners. We won't get into an argument, let's just get to the point. It's an iPhone stunner case! Yellow Jacket claims that the "Smartphone Stun Gun Case produces a minimum of 6-7 microcoulombs, delivering the highest amount of pain-inducing power in the industry for a stun gun." Sounds pretty scary. The case has retractable electrodes and a master on/off switch, but still - we wouldn't recommend carrying this thing around. For all the Tesla coil arc lovers, the Stun Gun Case costs $159.
We deem this case silly.
While we're on the subject of phone cases… This one is much safer. If you own a Kindle or any e-Ink reader, for that matter, you know how convenient these things are. We fiercely guarded the hard copy books bastion but finally gave up and admitted the benefits of an e-reader. The trouble is, you have to carry around an additional device. We present to you InkCase - problem solved! As you might've guessed, it's a phone case with an integrated e-Ink display. It's a pretty cool product that can transform your iPhone experience. Just insert your phone and pair it with the case using the companion app, and you're all set. Supported models include the iPhone 6/6s/7/8, and the iPhone SE 2020. Prices start at $39.
We deem the InkCase extremely cool.
"Your phone is 18x dirtier and contains more harmful bacteria than a public toilet." That's the punchline for our next pick - the PhoneSoap. Despite its name, no water or soap is involved. This phone sterilizer uses the power of ultraviolet light to kill all the nasty germs and whatnot (99.99% of them, according to the website). You can fit inside most phones, and there's also an acoustic amplifier that lets you hear all notifications while your phone sunbathes inside. You can preorder the cheapest version for $79.95, but we think getting a UV sanitizing gadget for your phone is borderline obsessive and a little weird. Nevertheless, in these troublesome times of pandemic, the PhoneSoap can actually be pretty useful.
We deem the PhoneSoap kinda weird but still cool given the situation.
The next gadget on our list can be very useful if you're a meteorologist, a surfer, or a paraplanner enthusiast. In all other cases, WeatherFlow's WINDmeter is just a gimmick. "WeatherFlow WINDmeters are pocket-sized anemometers that capture highly accurate wind measurements," reads the description. These devices plug directly into the 3.5 mm headphone jack (if your phone has one), and the little propeller generates specific current depending on how strong the wind blows. The companion app then measures the current and determines the wind force. Oh, yeah - it can measure wind direction too.
We deem this gadget silly (unless you're a meteorologist, a surfer, or a paraplanner enthusiast).
BACtrack Mobile Pro breathalyzer
Don't drink and drive! Okay, we know. You're responsible adults and won't do anything stupid. Wait, but how can you know for sure that you're sober enough to drive? BACtrack Mobile Pro breathalyzer comes to the rescue. It's a portable device that measures the alcohol vapor in your breath, much like the gadgets police officers use to test drivers. "The same professional-grade technology trusted by hospitals, clinics, and law enforcement, and offers the highest level of accuracy and consistency," claims BACtrack on its official site. The breathalyzer sends measurement data to your phone and can also predict when your alcohol levels will reach zero. That's a handy device that can save you a lot of trouble. And it's only $99.99.
We deem the BACtrack Mobile Pro to be cool.
Ava fertility bracelet
The world is full of fitness trackers and smartwatches, but the next gadget won't tell you how many calories you burned or summarize the quality of your sleep. Ava is a product for women and it can predict the so-called fertility window. And before you raise your eyebrows, the science behind the device is based on a real clinical study. Ava's sensor bracelet collects data 25 times per second while you sleep. This information is then analyzed to pinpoint your fertile window in real-time using four different algorithms. All this technology comes at a price. Ava costs EUR 299 and can be shipped to the US, Canada, and select countries in the EU.
We dare to rate this product weird.
The umbilical cord charging cable
We finish today's gadget digest with the strangest of them all. And yes, it comes from Japan. Although the Umbilical Cord cable (or the Grow Cable) has been around for many years, it never ceases to amaze. It's cool, weird, and silly at the same time. Designed and built by Japanese artist Mio Iizawa, this charging cable resembles an umbilical cord. It even pulsates while charging your baby… we mean phone. The price of this oddity is unexpected, too - you can scare all your friends for "just" $5,824.34. Oddly specific too.
We deem this product horrifying.
So there you have it. The first batch of weird accessories for your phone. Next time we'll dig up some oddities from the past which you can't buy, for better or worse. The world is full of strange things, and we might've missed some of them. Share your peculiar finds in the comments below.