Kickstarter practically sags under the weight of all the iPhone accessory projects. Chargers and docks seem to make up the bulk of them, followed closely by various holders and stands. These devices at least have some obvious utility, although the differences between them is mostly cosmetic.
Then there is that class of accessory where some half-baked idea has been hitched to the iPhone brand in the belief that Apple customers will throw money at anything. The “magsee” is the latest entry in this parade of non-inventions.
The magsee is a 4x magnifier that clips to the front of your iPhone to enlarge the screen image. “Shaped like a pair of reading glasses, magsee doesn’t go on your face, rather he slides on your iPhone.” (yes, magsee is gendered. Isn’t that cute?)
Wait – I know what you’re asking. Isn’t there a way to magnify the image that’s already built in to the iPhone? Well, yes, but as the “inventors” explain:
“Though you can pinch, scroll, unpinch and repeat to get around — let’s be honest — that’s just a lot of work.”
Yes, let’s be honest — it’s just not a lot of work. Certainly no more work than attaching a bulky chunk of plastic to the front of your phone and sliding it back and forth.
And of course all that laborious pinching and scrolling is required for a reason; the iPhone has a touch screen. You have to touch it to make it work. Covering it with a thick piece of magnifying plastic, no matter how sleek he is, makes using the touch screen difficult, if not impossible. I think you might be able to slide your finger partway up under the magsee, but we aren’t shown anyone actually using the touchscreen while he’s attached. I suspect that’s for a reason.
Of course aside from running apps from the touch screen, the other primary function of an iPhone is that it’s a phone. Unless you’re using a headset or headphones, you won’t be able to use the phone while the magsee is attached without jamming it up against your cheek. I hope he comes with a cleaning cloth.
We’ll be watching this project closely. If these guys can convince iPhone users to buy an accessory that removes more functionality than it adds, there may be hope for the iMusicBodyRhythm.