12 Mobile Device Accessories: the Dumb, the Useless, the Cool

By  Lori Castle — November 27, 2012

With the gift-giving season here and the fact that by the end of this year it is predicted that there will be more mobile devices than people on earth, it's safe to assume that if you need to buy a gift, a cell phone accessory could be a fit.

There are so many accessories out there — from those that look like or clip to unmentionable body parts which we can't feature here, to some that are actually cool and functional. Here are 12 +1 in a variety of categories.

Never-Bring-to-Work Cases

Giant Ear Phone Case
Made from silicone and "guaranteed to cause laughs and enjoyment," this phone case comes in a variety of colors, including a flesh tone (of course). You may just fool someone into thinking you actually have a giant ear. The seller states that the case does not have a cutout hole for camera but is otherwise fully functional. However, there is no indication of whether the case actually protects the phone, and the only customer review of the product said it "had a strange odor."

Mypetcase Plush Snap On Phone Case
You may not be taken seriously at work if you show up with this or sit it on your desk. It is fully washable and the front legs provide an extra stand. It can be hooked on the inside of a pocket, which might be the only acceptable place for it if you're over the age of 10.

Brass Knuckles Phone Case
This case, made in the U.S.A. will actually protect your iPhone but is expressly not meant to protect you and possibly would make the wrong impression during an interview. The product site issues a disclaimer about any "other" use of the product, which will result in forfeiture of any express or implied warranty. It also issues a travel warning: "TSA loves Knucklecases! They will hold you up and confiscate them at security so please check yours."

Absolutely Useless

Wrist Office
WristOffice is a universal mobile device accessory (MDA) that allows you to wear your cell or mobile device on your wrist. It's actually marketed as two products in one. "WristOffice turns your cell into your watch plus your office." Apparently, this MDA seems to have been created to help prevent customers from losing their phones. However, as the customer reviewer wrote on Amazon, there are many things you do close to your wrist that can ruin electronics — hand washing and eating are only two examples.

In true infomercial spirit, you can get 4 GoJos for the price of one. The product video aims to show how nothing but this product is truly hands-free. It's basically a glorified headband and suction cup, and hopefully a very strong one — that's a pretty steep drop if you are standing. The site, however, makes sure to clearly state that it can hold the weight of your phone, and "anything else you can think of."

Phone Fingers
These covers for your fingers come as individual latex slip-ons and the latest innovation, gloves. They help keep your device free from fingerprints. Yep — that's it. If you're willing to spring for these, you probably have something to hide.

Cool Retro

USB Typewriter for tablets
Dubbed a "groundbreaking advancement in the field of obsolescence," this company was started by a self-described hacker/engineer/designer who was amazed by a vintage typewriter he found. You can purchase a do-it-yourself conversion kit that actually converts "almost any" typewriter into a keyboard for tablets using a screwdriver, wire clippers and exacto knife. For the more adventurous — that is, those who like soldering — there's another kit that's compatible with "any" vintage typewriter. For a price higher than most tablets, you can also buy a typewriter that's all ready to go.

Retro '80s Phone Case
If you want to be as cool as Zack Morris was, or simply show your age, you can pop your iPhone into this case. The seller points out how far the design of the devices have come but calls the ‘80s mobile phone an "icon." It works with iPhones 3G-4S and can be used as a vertical or horizontal stand for the handset as well. Despite its novelty, the case does offer protection from bumps and scratches, according to the product site.

Boom Box
This speaker option for today's smartphone has a modern twist but retro look. With updated sound capabilities, like SRS TruBass digital signal processing technology and 5 band EQ coupled with an amp pumping 4" woofers and separate 1" tweeters, it's just plain fun.

Turns Your Phone into Something Else

Features an LCD screen to make it easy for you to see the results, provided you are not seeing double. This seems to be one of the only devices on the market that you can plug into your phone, but it makes no claims about accuracy or compliance with the various government agencies that oversee the roads and alcohol.

Pocket Projector
This projector is meant for the iPhone 4, but there are options for other device types. You simply dock your iPhone and project videos or slideshows onto any surface. This could be great for quick business videos when no equipment is available and certainly fun to try on a plane. Features include: super-bright 15-lumen projector lamp; 640x360 native display resolution (projects up to a 50" image); built-in 0.5W speaker and focus adjustment for an optimum viewing experience; and built-in 2100mAh battery functions as a back-up battery for your iPhone 4 when fully charged.

Credit Card Reader
Square is just that. It's a one-inch square mobile credit card reader that you plug into your smartphone to accept payments. It's useful in many enterprises large and small. Have you taken a taxi recently? Square is PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant and fully encrypted. And, it's free when you sign up for the Square service.

Gross and Inexplicable

Golden Toilet Cell Phone Strap with Gold Poop inside
From Japan comes this "Lucky Cell Phone Strap." Not sure what's so lucky about finding a "golden poo inside," but one reviewer commented on the product site about how cute it was. The toilet and contents are available in a "gorgeous" golden or silver color. The strap does come with a claim and a caution. The claim is that by showing your friends and making them laugh, Fortune goddesses will be happy. The warning? "Golden poo is so tiny. Take care not to lose it."


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