Smartphone cases don’t tend to be the most exciting of accessories, but a company called Esti inc. has created one that’s quite unlike any other we’ve ever seen.
Getting Android to run on iOS is one of the ultimate achievements for hacking, as the locked-down nature of Apple’s platform makes that extremely hard to do. The Eye is an iPhone case seeking funding on Kickstarter that looks to be the next contender for running iOS and Android on one device, by taking the somewhat obvious approach of simply attaching an entire Android phone to the back.
With 32 days to go, the Kickstarter project has almost met its initial $95,000 goal to produce this unnecessary accessory. The case is essentially an Android phone with a 5-inch AMOLED display, microSD card slot, 2800mAh extra battery, a couple extra sim card slots, wireless charging and it runs Android 7.1 Nougat OS. The iPhone plugs into the case the way it does in an average Mophie and the Android device uses it for its speaker, microphone, and camera. It also can, allegedly, use the iPhone’s internet connection.
This isn’t running Android on an iPhone. This is duct-taping an Android phone to the back of your iPhone. Sure, it adds some interesting features, but nothing that a regular full-fledged Android phone wouldn’t provide. And while Esti Inc. has yet to comment on what kind of internal specs the Eye will have, given the $189 price point (which is the cheaper version without cellular connectivity), it’s hard to imagine that Eye will offer a super powerful Android experience. From a purely technological perspective of cramming an entire phone into a case, Eye is interesting, but I’m left wondering: why?
But, I love a hardware hack and the promo video with a hip granny rockin’ her dual screen options is stupid enough to be fun.
As with all Kickstarter projects, there’s no guarantee that this thing will ever make it into the hands of the general public. Esti Inc. is a first-time company who has never actually shipped a product before, which is worth keeping in mind when deciding to back, especially given the many promises the company is making when it comes to Eye’s functionality.
The Eye is available to back on Kickstarter for an early-bird price of $95 (without 4G) or $129 (with 4G). Esti Inc. hopes to ship to backers in August or September later this year.