To stand out from the crowd these days, iPhone cases need to do more than simply protect an iPhone from various bumps and scrapes - whether it be the inclusion of a physical keyboard, wall charger, lens filters or, in the case of the MagniCase, a flip-out Fresnel lens that magnifies the iPhone’s display by up to 1.5 times.
The brainchild of mechanical engineer Hieu Ngyen, the MagniCase features a high quality Fresnel lens with 250 grooves per inch density that Ngyen claims provides a new iPad equivalent 264 pixel per inch (ppi) pixel density and effectively ups the 3.5-inch display of an iPhone 4/4S to the equivalent of a 5.3-inch display. Ngyen says the iPhone’s 326 ppi Retina display enables the 1.5x magnification to be achieved without any noticeable decrease in screen resolution.
When viewing the magnified display, the lens is positioned about 4.3 in (11 cm) from the front of the iPhone at the end of an extension arm, with both the shatter-resistant lens and arm folding up neatly into the rear of the case when not in use. The lens and arm will also act as a stand in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
Ngyen is seeking funds through Kickstarter to bring the MagniCase to market and at the time of writing had raised US$1,375 of his $25,000 goal, with 43 days remaining. If he hits his target, the MagniCase will be offered in black, white, grey, pink, blue or clear and retail for $40, with replacement Fresnel lenses available for $10 each. However, if you get in early with a pledge of $25 to the project you’ll secure one MagniCase and one replacement lens.
Here's Ngyen's video pitch for the device.