Oaxis has developed a set of E Ink cases, called InkCase, that let anyone turn their phone into a dual-screened handset, like the YotaPhone. We took a closer look while at MWC.
The super low-powered E Ink screen has been developed with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to sync with a selection of Android phones and the iPhone 5/5S. Despite being the same brand the styles between cases is really varied.
In the case of the screen cover cases the E Ink section is actually removable. This was not the case for the iPhone version - which is slimmer than the others.
The great thing about E Ink, other than the super low power, is that it will continue to display the last image even after your phone has died. Ideal for keeping a ticket to hand if needs be. The screens we saw were clear, maybe not as good as a Kindle, but plenty capable enough to display a picture with a fast refresh rate.
Oaxis has created a suite of apps, and an open source SDK, letting users display books, sports data and photos on the case.
The EpiReader app lets owners page through books using the Oaxis, even when the phone is in a pocket - a nice light alternative to a book. The InkCase Photo app displays pictures from the phone, meaning a screenshot of anything - say a ticket - can be saved on the case easily.
The InkCase Sports app means users could leave thier phone in a pouch or pocket and just carry the light case to glance at exercise stats. In some cases, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 model, the Oaxis is removable and has buttons making it perfect for a running companion. Although the slick design did feel a bit slippy even in non-sweating hands.
Despite being thin - little more than a normal case - the battery can manage a full week of solid use without a charge. Obviously we couldn't test this claim but judging from other E Ink products it seems reasonable.
The Oaxis cases will be available for iPhone 5/5S, Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 2/3 and Google Nexus 5 initially. They will be out in Asia soon with the UK and US planned for sales before the end of the year. All the cases will cost $129.