Gadgets: Fun ways to protect an iPhone

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From the April 12, 2012 edition

Owners of iPhones marvel at all the things that one product can do. With hundreds of thousands of apps, there are few things an iPhone can’t do.

So why buy an iPhone case that isn’t just as capable as the device it holds?

You shouldn’t, according to two Australian men named Rob Ward and Chris Peters. They founded Annex Products less than a year ago, and have now created three styles of iPhone cases that do more than just protect your gadget from falls and knocks.

The first, Opena Case (available for $39.95 at openacase.com), is admittedly a bit gimmicky. It’s a protective hard shell case with a slide-out stainless steel bottle opener. It fits both the iPhone 4 and 4S models. If you can handle waiting six business days to open your beers with your phone, standard shipping is free.

The best thing about the Opena Case is that it spawned the second product, the Quad Lock Case ($39.95 for the wall-mount version or $69.95 for the mount-anywhere version, from quadlockcase.com). This case is part of a unique mounting system that Annex Products claims is the lightest and strongest on the market today. The company is currently taking pre-orders for this product, which is expected to ship later this month.

The Quad Lock Case can secure your iPhone to a wall on a swivel mount (using an adhesive or screw mount), your bicycle handlebar (using an O-ring or zip-tie mount), your motorcycle, car dashboard, grocery store cart, a fishing rod or basically anywhere else you might feel the need to fasten your phone.

Next up for Annex Products is a case that is designed to protect you as well as your phone. Named the Playa, this case has a secret compartment that can hold two condoms.

The Playa Case (available for $29.95 by pre-ordering at openacase.com) will begin shipping this summer and will come in white, black and pink. Its discrete storage compartment is on the back of the hard-shell case, and it slides open when the mood is right.

We can’t wait to see what these two young men from down under will come up with next.