The smartphone is already a modern-day multi-tool, combining communications, entertainment, information access and all kinds of personalized content. But while the smartphone can multitask in the virtual world, it can't do quite as much back in the physical world. The TaskOne iPhone case changes that, giving Apple's smartphone the functionality of an old-school Swiss Army pocket knife. Like the Morgan E Pulse, it seamlessly blends cutting edge technology with retro-inspired design.

The 3.1-ounce (89-g) TaskOne from TaskLab is similar to the ReadyCase we covered previously, but it offers more implements. The innovative case rivals an actual multi-tool in offering a portable, pocket-sized toolbox with 16 separate tools.

Its 2.5-inch (6.4-cm) knife includes both serrated and fine edges, and the opposite side has a 1.8-inch (4.6-cm) wood saw. Six metric Allen wrenches, small and large flathead screwdrivers, medium Phillips screwdriver, and pliers with an integrated multi-size wrench take care of torque-related tasks. Other tools include wire cutters, a wire stripper, a ruler and spoke wrenches. Of course, there's also the obligatory bottle opener and kickstand.

Since the thick casing and rotating implements common on traditional multi-tools wouldn't work that well with the thin profile of an iPhone, TaskLab seats the tools flat inside the aluminum backing of the case. Each tool is secured via a spring assembly and accessed with a button. Some of the tools automatically secure into work mode while others are removed and either secured into a separate slot or used in standalone form.

In addition to the aluminum back that holds the tools, the TaskOne has polycarbonate edge bands that secure to the sides of the phone and provide a raised bezel to protect the screen. TaskLab says that the TaskOne can be removed in seconds, so it's easy to take off in situations where you can't carry a knife (e.g. air travel).

After wrapping up a successful Indiegogo campaign last week, TaskLab is hoping to set up its tooling in time to get the TaskOne shipping by April. You can pre-order the case starting at US$90. It is compatible with iPhone 4, 4S and 5 models.

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