i-Blades smartcase aims to make smartphones "smarter"

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The i-Blades smartcase and smart blade add battery life and memory to smartphones(Credit: i-Blades)

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As great as today's smartphones are, two of the biggest problems with them continue to be battery life and memory. Silicon Valley start-up i-Blades is out to change that with its smartcase technology, that it says can boost battery power up to 10 times and memory by up to 1 Terabyte.

The key is in what the company describes as snap-on and snap-off ultra-thin "smart blades," that can be mixed and matched to add a variety of functions to smartphones. They attach to the back of the i-Blades smartcase magnetically, and each smart blade can be stacked one on top of another to add either a battery smart blade, a memory smart blade or both.

The i-Blades smartcase has a built-in MCU that can automatically detect whether a memory blade or battery blade is attached. It will adjust the functionality via an included app. The smartcase and multiple smart blades can be charged together while you are charging your phone, or charged separately.

No wires or ports connect the smartcase with smart blades. Connectivity is a result of the company's ACS (Automatic Contact System) technology. When a smart blade is attached to the smartcase, the circular contact array makes a hard-wired high-speed data connection. The company says that all smart blades will be compatible with current and future smartcases, regardless of the phone's operating system. Only the smartcases will change, depending on whether they are attached to a phone running on Android or iOS.

The company has already designed smart cases for Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S6 phones, with iPhone smart cases coming soon. Smart blades will be from 2 to 9 mm in thickness, depending on the functionality.

One of the benefits of the additional memory capacity provided by the smart memory blade will be the ability to access movies and other content stored on the device without incurring additional data charges. The company says it also plans on adding new smart blades in the future, with sensors for medical apps and outdoor sports.

i-Blades is currently in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign, with the goal of raising US$30,000. Smart blades will come in varied memory sizes ranging from 64GB to 1 Terabyte. Smartcases are currently available separately at early bird prices from $49 to $75, combined with a smart battery blade for $99, or with a battery and memory blade combo from $125 to $145, depending on the type of case.

If all goes as planned, the smartcases and smart blades will be available by May of 2016.

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