Elecom Brings a Little Fun to the iPhone 5 With Chargers, Cases

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Some companies come to Mobile World Conference to push the envelope of mobile device performance and specs, but other companies just want to bring a little fun to the industry. Elecom showed off two playful accessories for the iPhone 5: a fun, portable battery charger with some surprise app functionality and a case that brings some analog gaming back to your digital device.

We took a fish-shaped portable battery and plugged it into a nearby iPhone 5, which already had a special prototype app preloaded. As soon as the battery was detected, we received a notification to open a special app. Immediately, an excited cat greeted us and started chowing down on the fish we provided. Once the animation was complete, the app closed and we could go about our business. When we were finished charging, the app reopened to show the satiated, full cat letting us know that our battery was charged. While the portable battery we tried was a fish, there is also a bone shape with an accompanied digital dog  and a banana shape with an animated monkey.

Also at the booth was a group of iPhone 5 cases, part of the Playgame! series, complete with classic plastic ball games on the back. We were able to successfully navigate a small metal ball through a maze on the first case, but getting all of the balls to stick in the little crevices on the second case and flicking the balls successfully into the plastic hoops on the third proved a bit more difficult. We were told that these cases are already quite popular in Japan, selling mostly to high school students, but that the company is trying to find a way to bring them to the United States.

The Playgame! cases would cost $19 each if they ever make it to the U.S., and there's no price or release date yet for the portable battery charger, although we were told that it might be available in Japan in the second half of this year. Both products bring a little fun to our iPhone, so we hope to see them on our shores at some point in the future.

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Dann Berg,
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