It's always fascinating to get your hands on a product that isn't yet available in your country. That's the case with the InkCase i5, an interesting iPhone case concept that just needs a bit more in terms of app support to become a fully baked idea. Here's what makes it different: The back of the case is an e-ink display intended to be used as a "second screen" for your iPhone. The case is manufactured by Singapore-based Gajah International and distributed by Oaxis.
TUAW received an iPhone 5/5s version of the case from Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader, who had written a review of a version of the case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Nate had no use for the iPhone version, so he sent it along to TUAW so we could see what the InkCase was all about.
Any case like this requires three components to work: 1) a low-power e-ink display that can be used to show images or text, 2) Bluetooth for communications with the iPhone and 3) apps to drive the e-ink display. While the InkCase has all three parts, the lack of apps that support the case limits its functionality right now.
That's not to say that the InkCase isn't cool -- in fact, I like the idea of being able to see my images on the back of the case in all of their grayscale glory (no color display...). But it would be about a thousand times more useful if you could do things like display notifications or the time; show live images from one of the cameras; or cycle through a combination of various text, alerts and images.