There is an ever-expanding array of peripherals for smartphones — particularly for iPhone, not just because it is the most popular brand but also because it has one standard body shape, unlike the multitude of Android phones, making it easier to build attachments for. Here are a few new add-ons to make your handset that much more fun to play with.
3D Director Viewer
If you are traveling with kids this summer, I hope you have some effective ways to keep them busy. The 3D Director Viewer from Sanwa seems like a promising tool for that task. It is reminiscent of the orange plastic View-Master of my childhood, that toy with the round slide reels that let you view the images in 3-D. Well, welcome to the Internet age, where toddlers breeze through the operation of iPads before they have mastered walking and talking. The 3D Director Viewer allows you to watch YT3D videos on YouTube with your iPhone 4 or 4S. It doesn’t require any batteries or additional applications: The 3-D effect is created through the special lenses. There aren’t many YT3D videos out there yet, but could this be the future? The gadget retails for ¥1,780 from Sanwa’s website: direct.sanwa.co.jp.
iCade Mobile game controller
Despite all the games available for smartphones, portable game consoles still make a strong appearance on trains in Tokyo. But if it’s the physicality of controls you want, the iCade Mobile by ION can turn your iPhone into a PSP look-alike with a set of handheld-style buttons and a D-pad. The dock holds your iPhone or iPod touch safely in landscape or portrait formats and connects via Bluetooth. It runs on two AA batteries and can be used with about 100 games and apps available from the App Store, including “Frogger Decades” and “Temple Run.” The iCade is not available in Japan but can be bought online for around $70.
Denon wireless earphones
The new AH-W200 earphones by Denon are touted as a business traveler’s companion, but any kind of traveler, including commuters, can appreciate a pair of lightweight noise-isolating wireless earphones. Connecting via Bluetooth or an optional cable to your iPhone 4S or Android phone, these mic-equipped headphones let you listen to music, talk on the phone and use voice commands. They have playback, volume and call controls built in, so you don’t need to keep fishing around in your pocket for your phone. Denon sound quality is hard to beat, and the Denon travel app for iPhone and Android gives you access to 50,000 Internet radio stations worldwide via TuneIn Internet radio. AH-W200 earphones are available now at ¥15,370.