Recently, we looked at the our favorite apps from Macworld followed by a post on the future of the Expo. Today we’ll wrap up this series with a post on some of our favorite hardware accessories that made an appearance at Macworld 2011.
Many of the accessories were quite useful, but even more interesting to us were all of the bizarre ideas inventors have come up with. From iPad jackets to cases for using your iPhone underwater, this post has it all.
These may look like ordinary iPhone and iPad cases, but they are more like super cases! The people at FastMac have developed an incredibly tough line of protective cases that have been dropped off buildings, run over by cars and hit with hammers; all while leaving a working iPhone intact!
If you’re prone to dropping your expensive iOS devices, you should definitely consider making the investment to pick one of these up. The iPhone cases start at $39.95.
It happens all the time, you’re taking a swim at the beach and you think “Gee, I wish I could check Facebook right now!” Well now you can do just that with the “Dry Case.” Whether you’re standing in the rain or 100 feet underwater, you can protect and use your iPhone or iPad with this incredible line of products.
I won’t personally be using my iPhone underwater any time soon, but if you think you might be then you’re $30-60 bucks away from tropical iOS bliss. They even have some waterproof headphones!
Some customers want their case to be highly practical like the two shown above that protect your iPhone in unique ways, others are more interested in something else: bling. Luxmo Diamond iPhone cases are probably some of the most ornate phone cases you’ll find.
These cases don’t merely have a coat of shiny paint, they have three-dimensional jewels and decorations glued onto them so that you’re sure to catch the attention of everyone around when that baby comes up to your ear.
This cleverly designed stand was catching a lot of attention at Macworld. It’s designed to allow hands-free use of your iPad, even when you’re lying on your couch. The stand feels a lot smaller in life than it looks in the pictures. It’s very portable and light but still felt nice and solid. The iRest Stand is currently selling online for $49.90.
Rain Design makes a lot of other great stands too so be sure to stop by their site for products designed for MacBooks and iPods as well.
It seems to be a pretty popular fad to strap an iPad to your hand. We saw a number of cases repeating this same basic idea at Macworld, some better than others. The Sleeve360, shown below, is quite a versatile take on the hand-mounted iPad sleeve.
The sleeve itself is a fairly protective case and can serve as a stand with both upright and laying down options when you’re not wearing it. If you too want to be able to wave hello with a tablet-laden hand, this one will set you back $49.99.
The iPad’s keyboard is big enough that it nearly matches the size of the one on my MacBook. I feel quite natural typing on it, but the hunched over viewing angle isn’t ideal for long periods of time. Cases like the ZAGGmate seek to solve this problem in addition to the lack of tactile feedback by tacking on a physical keyboard.
Your iPad can sit vertically or horizontally on the stand, which folds down flat and protects your screen when you’re on the move. At $99.99, it’s not for everyone, but if you find yourself working several hours per week on your iPad, it may be worth checking out.
Apparel and Bags
I have to admit, I laughed a bit when I first saw this product. The idea of wearing your iPad folded down from your chest just seemed silly to me. However, once I saw the product in action, I was fairly impressed.
It starts as a backpack and carrying case for your iPad. Then when you want to use your iPad, the pack can be quickly rotated around to your front and folded down for easy access. I’m not sure I’d pay $130 for it, but it’s definitely a well-made and useful product.
Want to have quick iPad access from anywhere but don’t to walk around with bulky backpack? Want to be as cool as the guy in the photo below? Maybe what you need is an iPad-carrying jacket!
For just $285 your iPad fashion dreams can come true. The same company also makes an impressive iPhone jacket that puts your iPhone on your sleeve for water protective outdoor use.
One of the most usefully innovative products we saw at Macworld was the HyperDrive Hard Drive for iPad. Storage is a big deal on mobile devices, but Apple doesn’t like allowing you to expand the built-in storage. An external hard drive is a logical solution and HyperMac has apparently figured out how to do it.
These devices start at around $200 for 320 GB and range all the way up to $400 for 1TB. It’s a bit pricey, but if you want to carry your movie collection around everywhere, this might just be the perfect way to do it.
As you can tell, HyperMac really stole the show in the accessories arena. There are two big problems with mobile devices: storage and battery. The previous accessory solved the first and this one solves the second.
These nifty devices will add upwards of 5 hours to your typical batter life, but it’ll cost you upwards of $70 to get your hands on one.
Bonus Gadget: The TV Hat
There was one particular accessory at Macworld that really brought a smile to our faces: The TV Hat. This unique ball cap allows you to insert your iPhone into the bill, which also holds a magnifying lens.
The basic idea is that you can watch whatever you want, wherever you want with complete privacy. Example use cases were at the beach, on long car rides, even in front of your computer! I snapped a picture of our own Joel Bankhead trying it on. His beachside experiences will no doubt never be the same.
Every one of the accessories above are from great teams of hardworking people. We got the chance to talk to many of the masterminds behind these products and they’re all very passionate about what they’re doing. At AppStorm we love good ideas, great ideas and even really crazy ideas and wish all of these companies the very best of luck.
If you’ve seen any bizarre iPhone peripherals or accessories lately, leave a comment below with a link and quick explanation of the product. We know there are tons out there and we’re anxious to see what you come up with!