The ReadyCase takes the Swiss Army approach to the iPhone case, giving you some utility in exchange for the added bulk.

A headphone clip keeps your cords from getting tangled; a lens ring lets you attach some tiny lenses to the phone’s back camera, a USB stick doubles as a kickstand, and a multi-tool is there for all your package-opening needs.

The 3mm case sort of wears its utility on its sleeve--a look that might be more appealing to some than others.

The USB stick comes in 8GB and 16GB varieties. The company’s shipping out two cases for each order: one that fits the iPhone 4, and one designed for the iPhone 5, so you’ll be ready when you upgrade.

The ReadyCase is actually one of the more svelte cases out there. Imagine what they could’ve crammed into an OtterBox-size model.

Co.Design

An iPhone Case That's As Handy As A Swiss Army Knife

USB drive: check. Multi-tool: check. Headphone clip: check. Kickstand: oh yeah.

When you buy a shiny new smartphone, you’re faced with a difficult question: Does this thing need a case? Up until now, it’s mostly been a matter of whether or not you were confident that you could hold onto the slippery little fish as you went about your day. Clumsy people got cases; the more dexterous tempted fate by going naked. But for iPhone owners, the ReadyCase could add a new variable to that calculus: utility. The svelte jacket protects your precious iPhone, sure, but it also packs a USB drive, a kickstand, a lens ring, a headphone clip, and a tiny multi-tool that functions as a blade, screwdriver, and bottle opener. Basically, it’s a Swiss Army iPhone case.

The idea is simple and a little bit ingenious: If you’re going to tolerate that extra bulk in your pocket, you might as well get something for your trouble. With the ReadyCase, you get a few things—the design team told me the object was to "jam as many utilities in as possible but without making it feel thick and bulky." They succeeded in the later respect; the case is only 3mm thick. But some of the utilities seem a bit more, well, utilitarian than others.

The clip that lets you wrap your headphone cable around your gadget, obscuring the uppermost portion of its screen in the process? Not a slam dunk. But the kickstand, though it’s always had the whiff of novelty in the gadget world, has some legitimate uses (the HTC Evo 4G, from a few years back, had one built in!) If you’ve ever tried propping your phone up on an airplane tray table to watch a video using your empty plastic cup and complimentary mini-pretzel bag, you know what I’m talking about. The ReadyCase’s kickstand is especially versatile; using the detachable 8GB or 16GB USB stick as the propping mechanism, you can stand your iPhone up at two angles in both portrait and landscape modes. "Very nice for YouTube videos on the go," the designers told me.

The multi-tool, of course, is handy for popping caps off beer bottles and slicing open packages—though that blade might preclude in-flight use in general, so you might be back to the empty cup kickstand after all. I’m not sure the average person needs a USB drive more than once or twice a year, but if you happen to be around when somebody is in that pinch and you’re able to conjure one from the back of your iPhone, you’re automatically a hero. The lens ring is kind of the outlier of the package. It’s a magnetic circle that lets you fix one of three small lenses—macro, fish-eye, or wide-angle—on top of the iPhone’s built-in lens, adding some cool, if not jaw-dropping, new perspectives to your photographic arsenal. Sadly, there’s no good way to clip the stubby little lenses to the case itself, vacuum-cleaner-attachment style, so you’ll have to let them jingle around loose in your pocket.

Of course, the other consideration in the great case debate is aesthetics. If Apple’s colorful iPhone 4 bumpers tried to take protection the bubblegum route, the ReadyCase goes for Batman utility belt chic. Perhaps not for everyone, but apparently right for some; the ReadyCase just passed its $15,000 Indiegogo goal, and the team is looking to ship the cases by next February. An 8GB ReadyCase (which comes with two sizes, one for iPhone 4, one for iPhone 5): $40. A 16GB ReadyCase plus the three attachment lenses: $60. Keeping the smartphone kickstand dream alive: priceless.

You can read more on the project page.

Add New Comment

9 Comments

  • PHil

    Just a thing for you to consider.

    Please make the inner of the case made out of rubber while the outer part is made from plastic.

    This combination will be a boom as the case will have the ability to slide down pockets easily while treating the phone gently without scratching the metal areas. 

  • Phil

    Guys what is happening to you ?

    Hell yeah you can pass TSA and say "F*ck" to them even !

    Just put the knife in your bag that is going to the back of the plane instead of carrying it with you.

    I put lighters, laptops, 100+ perfumes etc.

    Sometimes you need to use your mind period

  • PAULNY

    I always find myself searching for my knife, and my phone is constantly in my hand so, personally, I think the multi-tool is a nice feature - especially since it functions as a bottle opener!  Some of the design is flawed IMO considering the back is left open as well as the bottom.  Something like KRISWA mentioned, a collaboration with LIFEPROOF would be a ton more beneficial for your typical outdoorsman, or even as an everyday city goer.

  • krzystoff_oz

    a militaristic aesthetic that will appeal to teenage boys, but certainly not your typical iPhone user. 
    it would be better as an outdoor tool if it had a water- / dust-proofing option, like some of their competitors, or perhaps a Kevlar bullet-proof cover -- (oops, that might breach a Motorola patent...)  along with that theme, perhaps an phone antenna extender, solar charger, etc.

  • Amber King

    This is really great. This make it more convenient and it can hold several things as well.

  • DonM

    Good idea except for the multitool.  Complete over-design -- a case should protect the phone and make using it more convenient, not introduce completely unrelated functions.