8 ways to total transformation


Convert that smartphone into a superphone with these useful little accessories and add-ons

All of us know the importance of that one-second conversation just before the cellphone battery dies on you. And when have we not wished that our phone would not lose signal in the middle of an important negotiation? If you are looking to enhance the performance of your cellphone, here are some add-ons to convert it into a superphone. Believe us, your handset will never be the same.

BoxWave Presentation Capacitive Stylus

The trend of the stylus is back for new-generation touch screens. Use this one if you like to be precise in writing and drawing on a tiny screen or simply want to keep it scratch-free. This stylus is slightly heavier than a pen and comes integrated with an LED reading light as well as a laser pointer. All you need to do is put slight pressure and the stylus works smoothly even on screen protectors. The clip-on at the side ensures you will not leave it behind in the cab. It even has a headphone jack plug anchor if you prefer it to dangle stylishly. It comes in four colours—black, silver, ruby and white.

Money matters: $19.95 (around Rs. 1,020) at www.boxwave.com. Shipping charges extra.

Violight UV Cellphone Sanitizer

A March study by the London School of Hygiene says your cellphone has more germs than a toilet seat. Kill the germs on your device the ‘Star Trek’ way with Violight UV Cellphone Sanitizer. It is a metal basket with a lid in which you can put your phone, charger, MP3 player, PDA, even earbuds or anything else which will fit in the slim box. The germicidal UV rays will zap the viruses and bacteria in just 5 minutes. It can only be used for flat phones and not for flip phones or sliders—those are too bulky.

Money matters: $49.95 for the Violight UV Cellphone Sanitizer,atwww.violight.com. Portable versions for toothbrushes and earbuds are cheaper. Shipping charges extra.

iZon Remote Room Monitor

Want to keep an eye on your child or pet while you are in office? This app-controlled camera live-streams video and audio of any space. The camera connects to your iPhone via an app called Stem:Connect. The camera has a magnetic base so that you can position it at any angle. Once set, you can see a live feed from the camera (with about 15 seconds delay) anywhere in the world on your iPhone. It can be configured to alert you when it senses motion or sound in the room. You can set the app to record feeds and upload them to a free, private YouTube account. The live stream is encrypted and sent only to your device. It works only for iOS products now (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad), but the company is also developing Android and Mac apps, and a Web browser interface.

Money matters: $129.95 at Steminnovation.com/izon. Shipping costs extra.


Solio Bolt

Launched in March, Solmate Solio Bolt by Chennai-based Ideaplus Systems gets the thumbs up for quality conversion of solar energy and product design. The batteries come with an integrated solar panel which can be charged by keeping in the sun. Once its internal 2000mAh Li-Poly battery is fully charged (which takes 8-10 hours in sunlight), you can use it to charge your phone. The Bolt battery keeps the charge for up to one year, and will deliver a full charge to your phone in 3 hours, after which you need to recharge it again. It’s not suggested as a replacement for your charger, but it is handy if you are travelling or are in a place where there’s no electricity. You can also charge the Solio from a USB port or wall charger in 4.5 hours, and can use it to charge other USB-powered devices on the go.

Money matters: Rs. 2,995 at Getsolmate.com. Rs. 85 for shipping and handling within India.

Drone Controller

If you are old school, you will love this one. Drone is an open-source standard game controller with buttons to play games and other apps on touch-screen devices. It’s ergonomic, has a standard button layout that you might be familiar with if you are an old-time gamer, and is built well enough to be tossed into a backpack. It is compatible with Bluetooth devices. If you are a bit of a geek, you can even create and upload your own code to modify the characteristics of the controller and use it for other apps and stuff. Programming and electrical information is easily available on various online forums, and it’s easy to learn.

Money matters: Pre-order at Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) for $65. From December, it will sell at $75 on www.evolutioncontrollers.com. Add $20 for shipping.

Dot iPhone Panorama Lens

Want to create a seamless video panorama from your phone but do not have that kind of feature in your smart device? Stick the Dot iPhone Panorama Lens to your phone’s camera. Introduced by the online store Photojojo, this little black lens captures all the action around you in a 360-degree video. Once it’s shot, you can use the free accompanying app called Looker to make the video an interactive Flash video. It creates videos which run like Google Street View, where you can zoom in and pan out to see all that has been shot. The video can also be saved as an HD wide-screen video with the same app. The lens is attached using rings that are to be stuck to the back of the phone or case. On the other side, it holds the lens with its magnetic ring. The lens and the app have been created for iPhone 4/4S.

Money matters: $79 on Photojojo.com. Every order comes with a free mini dinosaur to show Photojojo’s commitment to and obsession with both photography and dinosaurs. Shipping charges extra.

JuiceTank case

Start-up company Detached (www.getdetached.com) is launching a case for your smartphone which comes with a lightweight plug built-in so that you can simply use it as a wall charger. Once your phone’s finished charging, the plug can be folded completely flat so that nothing sticks out. No fuss, no cords and no need to carry an extra battery or that charger. The case is made of polycarbonate, used in bullet-proof glass, so your phone is cushioned against drops. The charger supports 110v and 240v. The case, announced for the iPhone 4/4S, will be available from August if you pre-book now.

Money matters: $55 if you pre-order now through the campaign that Detached is running on Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com), plus shipping. From August, the case will be available for $70 on their website (www.getdetached.com). Shipping charges extra.

Wilson Sleek

Is your conversation on a phone forever sliced into bits and parts? Dress up your mobile phone in this Wilson cradle to convert it into a signal-catching superhero. This data and phone signal amplifier cradle acts like an antenna to boost your calls, reduce the number of dropped calls, increase data rates in weak signal areas and originate calls in “dead spots”. It amplifies signals both to and from the cell tower, making your cellphone 20 times more “catchable”. Just keeping the cradle around your phone will increase its signal strength since it’s an antenna. The cradle is adjustable to any phone size. However, do some groundwork before you buy this product. Sleek 2G/3G only works between 824-894 MHz and 1,850-1,990 MHz. If your wireless service provider matches this frequency (in India most GSM service providers work in the frequency bands of 900MHz and 1800MHz, while CDMA works in the 800MHz band), only then will this product work with your phone.

Money matters: $87.98 from Amazon.com. Shipping charges extra.

*The products can only be ordered online; they are not available in stores.

Cross posted from HT Mint