Jan 30, 2013
It is amazing how many times I leave my phone in the car or forget to bring my keys out with me. Consolidating these two would be a dream and there are a few solutions available but their effectiveness is very questionable. One of the more complete and involved KickStarter projects that we have spotlit here, Intellacase is a smartphone case that incorportes within it a key fab for any modern car with keyless entry. While this does nothing for most car owners who still reside in the land of metallic gateways, a growing number of affordable cars are adopting the keyless ignition as a viable offering. Certainly for anyone who has a car that utilizes keyless technology this is an incredibly attractive opportunity. Image going out on the town, with the increasing prevalence of NFC payments, and being able to bring just a phone which has access to both wallet and car access.
Intellacase’s success hinges on automobile manufacturers adopting this and cooperating, and fortunately there are an incredible number of companies who have already hopped on board. These include major players such as Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, Audi, and BMW. That kind of across-the-board commitment at such an early time in a product’s infancy is amazing and very impressive. One potential problem with attaching keys to a phone is that there are times where the owner is not the one who is driving, and for those who can afford restaurants with valet services, having keys tied to a smartphone is not exactly practical. Thankfully, the designers of Intellacase have made the intelligent choice to make the key component completely removable.
From just a few quick looks at the KickStarter page I unfortunately see a few problems that need to be addressed. Firstly, Intellacase is packing some serious junk in the trunk. It is huge. The large buttons on the back combined with the almost smartphone size of the detachable key fab make handling solely the keys seem very unwieldily. Unless the girth of the Intellacase is reduced I have a hard time seeing it becoming a must-have, especially considering that as of now a majority of the people it caters to can be very discerning about appearances. My other gripe is that it, as of now, is only offered on three phone designs: the iPhone 4 & 4S, iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III. This should be increased over time but it does highlight a problem with producing shelled cases which is that they can only sell to the people who own the phones that they support, and this will ultimately limit Intellacase’s appeal even more. All this being said I still feel that in the long run Intellacase will be incredibly popular and with their head start on the competition I can certainly see them being major players in the future.