Want to save some of your iPhone 6’s battery life? Come on, we both know the answer to that question. Usually, the solution to the nearly ubiquitous problem of short smartphone battery life is the external battery pack or case, but Oaxis takes another approach with their inkCase i6. Instead of adding more battery power, they take some of the load off the smartphone’s battery by giving you a second screen on the back of your phone.
Those awesome, high-resolution smartphone displays are great for watching movies and all that, but the downside is that it takes tons of battery power just to keep that screen active, even when you’re doing relatively low-power things like reading or web browsing. The inkCase i6 lightens that load by putting an 800 x 480 4.3″ anti-glare eInk display on the back of the case. That display communicates with your phone over a Bluetooth connection, allowing you to read eBooks or receive notifications on your case’s eInk display, instead of using power to view them on your iPhone 6.
The battery in the inkCase i6 is only 300 mAh, but because eInk displays only use battery power when the information on the screen changes (using none when the screen is static), that battery should last a while. For reference, the Kindle Touch, which also used an eInk display, had a 1,420 mAh battery and lasted a little over a month, so my best guess is you could expect about a week from the inkCase i6. Once its battery dies, you can charge it with a Micro USB cable.
The case is made from polycarbonate and can offer some physical protection for the iPhone 6, although with that eInk display, I think you’d not want to test that out for yourself. The case manages to remain pretty thin at 4.2 mm, so if you can’t rely on it for protection for fear of damaging the eInk display, you at least won’t be adding much to your iPhone’s profile.
No word on exactly where or when you can get your hands on the inkCase i6, but an Android version of the case picked up an iF Product Design award and Oaxis has a contingent at MWC this year, so there’s a good bet their stuff will be landing in stores and online sometime this year. On their site, Oaxis says the i6 will be available in spring, but we don’t know about the Android version.