AUSTIN (Laptopmag.com) — What started as an art project is now one of the coolest smartphone accessories we've seen at South by Southwest Interactive. The Palm Top Theater turns your iPhone into a 3D playground, displaying videos and games in three different layers that all combine to create compelling footage.
The Palm Top Theater case works in conjunction with two free iPhone apps: Palm Top Theater and Palm Top Studio. The Theater app allows users to browse and purchase additional content, such as short movies, games and even Björk's new music video. The Palm Top Studio app lets users create content directly on their mobile device. Users can also make their own videos on their computer, using a free Adobe After Effects plug-in, and upload the clips to the app for other users to download. Most of the content is free, but even paid download are inexpensive; nothing costs more than $2.
Video was crisp and clear as we watched music videos and a gameplay clip on the Palm Top Theater. It was fun to see how each of the three different layers worked together to create a unique experience, as often the back layer had a background, the middle the main image and the front text. While we might not want to view a full-length film on the Palm Top Theater, it was definitely an entertaining way to watch video clips and music videos and play quick games.
The Palm Top Theater is now available in the United States for $33.95. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and 5. While the company has made versions for other platforms, including full-size iPads, these were mostly for art exhibits or testing and there's no plans for support for new devices at this time.