NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you need a bottle opened, or a tool to fix your bike, many people are turning to an unlikely source — their smartphone case.
As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes found out on Friday, cases are not just for cellphone protection anymore.
Christine Mango’s iPhone case does more than just protect her phone.
“It’s funny to grab a bottle and say, ‘hey, I’ll get that.’ People get a big kick out of it,” Mango said.
Her case doubles as a bottle opener, but others do even more.
“It has an actual insert in it. It has a bunch of tools inside. There’s also one for bike tools, so you can swap those in and out,” said David Carnoy of CNET.
They’re part of a $1.3 billion industry in the United States — smartphone covers that are getting smarter and smarter.
“You get these little interesting little cases that do things like have tools in them, or have little extras that people may or may not use during the day, but kind of can have fun with,” Carnoy said.
Carnoy showed Grymes one case that doubles as a gaming controller.
“It also charges your iPhone at the same time, so while you’re playing games you can keep a good battery charge,” Carnoy.
The “Atomyzer” sprays liquid. It’s in the production phase.
“Hand sanitizer, cologne, perfume, or, in the near future, pepper spray, asthma meds and anything which sprays,” Atomyzer creator Rahul Dharod said.
Other special cases have spots for headphones, memory sticks, sound amplification, or even tools to enhance your photos, Grymes reported.
“You can attach these little lens attachments to it so you can have a wide-angle lens for your iPhone or even a telephoto lens,” Carnoy said.
Specialty cases, of course, range in price. Some go for $200. Carnoy said before you invest in one, keep in mind that if you switch your phone, the case might not fit.
If you’re traveling by plane, make sure the gadgets on your case can make it through security. Some include knives.
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