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iPhone accessories: CES 2013 brings smart watches, laser keyboards and kickstand cases

If you scroll a little further down the page, you’ll find accessories which touched down just before the arrival of the iPhone 5, many of which we uncovered at CU Exposed in central London, but this is 2013 and not only is the iPhone 5 well and truly here, but CES in Las Vegas kicked the year off by bringing us a wealth of new accessories which you’ll be able to buy in the coming weeks and months to further enhance the functionality of your beloved Apple smartphone.

Pebble smartwatch

To get things started, we’ve chosen a device which made a name for itself last year as one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time. The Pebble smartwatch smashed its crowdsourced financial target, accumulating over $10 million worth of funding before mass production got underway. At CES just last week, the company hosted their first keynote, where they debuted the Pebble smartwatch in its effectively finished state.

Pebble smartwatch

The watch itself uses a 1.26-inch E-Paper display making it suitable for viewing in extremely bright conditions, whilst at the same time it accommodates a backlight for combatting the darkness which can be activated by flicking the watch back on your wrist thanks to an inbuilt accelerometer. What separates this watch from others is that it’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices and can display the time, email, Facebook notifications plus, there’s 3rd-party app support and developer kits to improve functionality over time time. Pebble also totes a waterproof housing and a magnetic charging cable so that sweat, spray and moisture don’t cause havoc with the electronic internals.

Those who funded the project on Kickstarter should be getting their watches extremely soon, followed by those who’ve pre-ordered through the recently launch getpebble.com website. The company say they’re able to churn out around 15,000 units a week and pre-order pricing is $150 before shipping.

Celluon Magic Cube

For those who work on the go and spend a lot of time typing into their iPad or iPhone, accessory maker Celluon have developed the Magic Cube – a rather ingenious little box of tricks that although only standing seven centimeters tall and less than three centimeters wide, serves as a perfect alternative full-sized QWERTY keyboard and mouse.

Celluon Magic Cube

Using lasers and infrared sensors, the Magic Cube projects a glowing red keyboard on practically any flat surface, the user can then type as they would on a traditional keyboard, whilst the input pops up on their favourite iOS device over Bluetooth. The infrared sensor can extrapolate where the user is placing their finger with the ability to track up to 350 characters per minute and what’s more, by swiping and dragging over the keyboard area, the Magic Cube also serves as a trackpad for mouse input.

Battery life for the 700mAh cell is quoted at 150 minutes, with device compatibility falling to Macs running OS X 10 or later, PCs running Windows XP or later, Android devices running version 2.2 or later and of course iOS devices running version iOS 4 or later. The Celluon Magic Cube is available online for around £110.

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ZeroChroma Theater-Stand 360 cases

Case maker ZeroChroma bought a variety of their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch cases to CES this year and all feature one of the best integrated stands around. The ZeroChroma Vario range is available for iPhone 4/4S, the latest iPads and now, the iPhone 5. Both the Vario Clear and VarioProtect 5 are available with the Clear offering an iPhone bumper aesthetic as well as transparent backing.

ZeroChroma Vario cases

Meanwhile the new VarioProtect 5 case surrounds the iPhone 5 in a thick polymer hard shell with an anti-slip surface. What helps ZeroChroma’s cases stand out are the inclusion of the Theater-Stand 360 – a kickstand which can revolve 360 degrees and angle your iPhone at 11 different angles on a flat surface. The stand works wonders for viewing content in both landscape and portrait orientations and now it comes to the latest iPhone. US availability quotes both cases at $44.99 and $39.95 respectively although the 4S version is the only one presently available from the UK Apple Store. Expect the iPhone 5 compatible cases to arrive at a similar price points between £35 – £40.

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January 14, 2012

mophie

A company long known for their range of charging cases for iPhones, mophie brought a number of welcome updates as well as come new competitive products to the show floor. Their external charging solutions were bolstered by the inclusion of the Juice Pack Powerstation Duo, which is one of the first external batteries in the range to feature two USB outputs, meaning you can charge two devices simultaneously without a wall socket in sight. The Powerstation Duo contains a mammoth 6000mAh battery which mophie say could bring your iPhone from 20% to 80% around five times over. It can even charge an iPad.

Along with the external batteries, we took a look at their super tough MIL-STD 810G certified Juice Pack Pro case, designed to work with the iPhone 4S, this hardy shell is a three component assembly that guarantees to protect your iPhone from drops, bumps, scrapes, shocks, splashes, dirt, sand and dust, all the while offering a charge and a half’s worth of power from its onboard 2500mAh battery.

Last but certainly not least is their forthcoming Outride case. Although not part of mophie’s typical remit of charging accessories, the Outride case effective turns your iPhone 4S into a 1080p HD GoPro complete with all the necessary brackets and mounts for surfing, cycling and driving out the box and more options being made available from the manufacturer following release, slated for mid-October with a price of £104.95.

Wacom

CU Exposed also served as the launch platform for Wacom’s latest capacitive stylus, the Bamboo Stylus Pocket. To accompany their range of graphics tablets and tablet displays, Wacom moved into the mobile space with capacitive stylus products intended for the new wave of tablets stemming from the launch of the iPad and now offer one of the most popular stylus lines around.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Pocket

The Pocket is a collapsible stylus with a comfortable rubberised grip and a cap to protect the nib. The cap’s lanyard has a handy rubberised jack on the end which can slot into the 3.5mm headphone jack slot on your smartphone so you always have it to hand too.

elgato

From a TV broadcasting background, the products on offer from elgato are typically designed to bring Freeview to your home in various ways, the two latest products bring them to your tablet or smartphone, anywhere.

The EyeTV Mobile and EyeTV Micro are designed for iOS and Android devices respectively and act as Freeview TV receivers when used in conjunction with their native app. The app itself allows users the ability to pause and rewind live TV as well as access a TV guide and which they can bookmark and overlay subtitles on the majority of programmes.

Braven

You might think that Braven’s SIX Series portable Bluetooth speakers look remarkably like Jawbone’s Jambox range and that’s not accidental. The company are going toe-to-toe with established Bluetooth accessory maker with the arrival of the Braven 600, 625 and 650.

Each speaker unit doubles as a speakerphone with a built in microphone, users can control music playback and volume from the speaker unit and their onboard battery even allows for charging of your iPhone via USB. Depending on the model you opt for, the Bravens will offer 12 to 20 hours of music playback and the ruggedised 625 model can even take a bit of rough and tumble out and about without issue.

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