As much as we don’t want to admit it, we have trouble imagining going back to our pre-smartphone lives. Remember when you wanted to tell friends something, and you either had to wait until the chance arose, call them, or actually go talk to them in person? Weird. Or what about when you had some random question that you just needed answering, like: “What should I do if my dog ate another dog’s poop?” Sometimes smartphones can be real lifesavers.
In fact, being disconnected from the Internet can almost feel isolating these days, as it means being cut off from having almost all the information you could possibly need right at your fingertips. And we’re willing to bet that the many members of the generation growing up now that have never known a life without smartphones will really struggle during the times they find themselves disconnected. Smartphones have changed the way we live.
However, if you look around a bit and don’t mind spending some extra cash (and if you’re visiting The Richest, you’re probably somewhat into luxury), you can find some amazing gadgets that can take your iPhone experience to an entirely new level that you didn’t even know existed. We’ve made a list of the top 15 here!
15 August Smart Lock
Sure, it might be a little big, but these locks are seriously stylish! The design is really modern and would look good on most styles of doors. Additionally, they are very easy to use and the iOS interface is user friendly and attractive. Once it’s set up, you can set it on automatic mode, so you just need to use your Bluetooth with the lock. Walk up to it and you can unlock it. Walk away and it automatically locks. Practical! An added perk is that you can even use it with whatever deadbolt lock you may happen to already have, so the additional expenses are somewhat minimized. It’s also really cool because, let’s say you’ve just moved onto that next step of your relationship and want to offer your partner a key to your place, you can actually digitally distribute keys as often as you want. And, if things take a turn in the other direction, you can just shut it off from your phone without needing to ask for the key back. That's one less awkward conversation you need to have!
14 Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Light Bulb Adapter
With this nifty little gadget kit, you can control all the light bulbs in your home with your iPhone. It’s perfect for the lazy couch potato who wants to fall asleep on the couch but is just not feeling the long trek over to the light switch (don’t act like it hasn’t happened to you!). Using this iPhone peripheral, you can control all the lights in your house. You want to shut off the lights in the entire home? Done. You want to target a single bulb? Easy. You can even dim or brighten lights, if yours are compatible. You can use the touchscreen to do this, or, if you prefer, you can use Siri to control your lights, which can be quite practical. This gadget would probably be perfect for a horror themed evening, too. You could flicker the lights on and off or kill the lights at any point while still being in the group. No one would ever know…
13 BACtrack Breathalyzer
Admittedly, this application will not be for everyone, but we could see quite a few people putting it to good use. Honestly, it might even be very beneficial in keeping our roads safer, assuming the user is rational enough to abide by the results’ warning. And this gadget really delivers accurate results. It is touted as performing at the same level as police breathalyzers, so it should be a good measure of when you’re capable of safely driving again. Honestly, a good rule of thumb is to just not drive if you’re at all concerned, but this can give you concrete proof in case you need it. You just attach the device to your iPhone and you can easily measure your blood alcohol content in a few seconds. A few seconds is nothing when you’re talking about such potentially serious consequences. Most of the gadgets on this list are luxurious, but this one could be a real lifesaver.
The MicrobeScope came about through a successful Kickstarter campaign. This nifty little gadget is a powerful microscope that you can attach your iPhone to. It’s the perfect purchase if you’re a bit of a science nerd and spend long evenings watching The Big Bang Theory reruns (or does that actually make you a pseudoscience nerd?). Either way, with this gadget you’ll be microscoping the heck out of things out in the field or at home in no time at all. You just put your sample on the lens and go! It requires some AAA batteries, but that’s it. With older iPhones, you can zoom in up to 800 times, but newer iPhones are capable of zooming in a whopping 2000 times! The added benefit of using your iPhone for this is that you can capture video and audio, so you can record the images and verbal notes as you go.
This one is for the true hipsters out there. Speaking of which, when did appreciating antique items and things outside of the mainstream become a bad thing? Or is it just the hipster style that people dislike so much? Either way, you will get your fix of retro telephone goodness with this gadget. Imagine how sharp you’ll look in your office, at your nice mahogany desk, answering calls on your iRetrofone like an early 20th century champ! You just plug your iPhone into the dock on the front of the iRetrofone and you’re all set. It also functions as a charging station, so you can charge while you look cool! And, if you’re one of those luddites who still actually has a landline, you can even plug that into this gadget and answer calls from other people who refuse to join the 21st century. Seriously, though, we love the style of this gadget and would definitely put one on our desk!
This product is definitely a bit specific and has a very targeted audience. It was started through a Kickstarter campaign and there must be a lot of R/C (radio control) enthusiasts out there, because the campaign succeeded. You slip your iPhone into this device and it allows you to drive your R/C cars and fly your R/C airplanes wherever you like! This gadget definitely appeals to the child in all of us, and if you already have to lug around a big R/C vehicle, it’s probably extremely handy to be able to leave the controller at home and just use your iPhone. With all of the negative occurrences in the news of people misusing drones, this might just be a smart time to take a step back and fly some R/C planes around without the creepy intent of using drones for spying on people doing whatever it is they do when they’re home and don’t know they’re being watched. Seriously. Don’t be that guy.
9 Prep Pad Kitchen Scale
There are tons of apps and gadgets out there for the health conscious iPhone user. One of the niftiest ones to come out in the last couple years is the Prep Pad kitchen scale. Now, this app is technically for your iPad and not your iPhone, but it’s really cool and we wanted to share it, so we’ve snuck it on here like a little kid sneaking cookies before dinner (although this gadget could have noticed the weight different and tattled!). This device allows you to weigh your food, but it also counts calories for you and gives you all the nutritional information you need for what you’re preparing. There are lots of ways out there to get nutritional information, but this seems to us like the most precise. Maybe you’re really counting calories and you know how many a banana has. But that’s still an estimate. This lets you weigh exactly what you eat for precise measurements. The Prep Pad is a cool little device that’s handy in the kitchen either way, but it’s definitely great for anyone who’s dieting or just likes to keep strict track of his or her daily food intake.
Automatic is an iPhone accessory that helps you connect your iPhone to your car in ways that were never previously possible. We aren’t talking about playing music from your iPhone. This tiny gadget lets you actually sync your phone with your car’s onboard computer system. If you’re like us, you might still not understand how a car even runs on a computer system and were shocked the first time you went in to have your engine fixed, only to find out that the problem was with your motherboard. Oh well. We can’t be good at everything! But if you want to get a little bit closer to your car, Automatic lets you do things like analyze your driving habits so you can save money on gas. Even more practically in a tough spot, it can help tell you what your Check Engine lights mean. You never have to see one of them light up and live in an ignorant fog of fear ever again!
7 DxO ONE 20.2MP Digital Connected Camera
This is the perfect peripheral for the photography nuts out there. It’s really small and extremely portable, unlike so many of those expensive cameras and lenses required to take pictures of similar quality. The DxO One can take pictures in 20.2MP quality and has a knack for capturing excellent images even in low light situations. Plus, when you combine it with your iPhone, it has in-depth touch control, which is lacking on many cameras that cost a lot more. It’s also really practical to have this device turn your phone into a high quality camera because the pictures will already be on your phone, all set to be uploaded to social media or shared with friends. There’s no need for any annoying transferring between devices. Another selling point is that it’s also rotatable, so if you’re into selfies, this will make them very easy. Think about that. You can post selfies with a whole new level of pore-exposing, pimple perfect pixel quality.
6 Vaas Boost Protective Case And Sound Amplifier
This may seem like just another protective case for your iPhone, and there are so many of those out there already. You can’t walk through a mall without seeing hundreds of iPhone cases all over the place. But this one is not only thick and padded enough to keep your iPhone safe when you drop it (not that it would be your fault, of course; you were probably multitasking with a classic novel in one hand while learning to play the piano with the other), but it also makes your iPhone louder. This can be really handy if you want to listen to some music (while you also read and play music) or if you want to amplify an important call while you go hands-free. The iPhone is great, but there’s a distinct lack of top-level volume, and with all the gadgets on this list you’ll inevitably be buying, it’s nice to be able to get some benefit from something simple like your case.
5 Wrap 310XL
This is definitely one of the more expensive entries on our list (well, nowhere near the price of the robot in the last entry, but still quite expensive!), but it’s much cheaper than buying a virtual reality headset, so if you’re in the market for a more affordable version of that, which can work with your iPhone, this might be it. The Wrap 310XL is a pair of 3D glasses that projects a 55 inch screen to you when you wear them. The manufacturer touts the product as creating a theatre-like environment, which sounds pretty cool to use. We wouldn’t mind that experience without the sticky floors and awkward teenage couples groping each other in the back rows. The glasses wrap around on an angle at the sides so you aren’t bothered by pesky peripheral vision issues distracting from the experience and they also have a built-in headset for sound. The reviews tend to vary widely with this product though, so read into it a bit before making the leap!
4 Helios Bicycle Handlebars
This is a great iPhone gadget for all of the bicycle enthusiasts out there. Have you ever been riding your bike and wished you could easily use your iPhone as an onboard navigation system like you would in your car? Well, with Helios Bars, you can do that with a ton of added benefits. They come with lights that are as bright as car headlights on the front and LED lights on the back that function as signals. You basically get to turn your bicycle into a little car! Obviously, it will let you hook up to Google Maps so you can navigate your journey, but it also lets you hook up with Bluetooth to your iPhone so you can use the other features, like varying levels of light, ambient lighting, a speedometer and so on. Plus, Helios Bars come in two different distinct styles, The Bullhorn and The Drop Bar, depending on if you prefer to ride sitting more upright with handlebars typical on mountain bikes or if you like the lower handlebars of a standard street bike. So you can be comfortable while not getting lost, no matter what your riding style preference is!
3 Double Robotics Double 2 Telepresence Robot
This gadget is really cool, even if it seems like a lazy way of avoiding hitting your daily step count. The Double Robotics Telepresence Robot is perfect for all the Isaac Asimov fans out there who grew up dreaming of owning a robot. Sure, it’s a far cry away from having artificial intelligence, but if you’ve read any Asimov, it’s probably a very good thing that trait is missing. All you have to do with this peripheral is mount your iPad (yes, we snuck a second iPad device on here, but come on, it basically turns you into a robot!) on the front of it and let it go to suit all your telepresence needs. It has self-balancing wheels so you shouldn’t have to worry about it tipping over. Once it’s set up, you can control it by driving it from a remote location while the iPad mounted at the top displays your face in a two-way video call. This allows people to see your face as if you’re really there (although probably much thinner than in real life) while you can see everything around you to navigate. You can have conversations and interact more or less like normal, but without people being able to read your body language, so it’s probably perfect for poker night.
2 Sony Portable HD Mobile Projector
This is a really cool little piece of technology that can be used professionally to impress colleagues at work but is just as good for having fun and consuming entertainment at home. This expensive iPhone peripheral lets you use your iPhone as a projector and the image can be sized up to a whopping 120 inches! This is just perfect for office presentations. But if you’re not exactly the professional presentation type, it’s also excellent for use at home. Who wants to spend all that money on an enormous projector that you have to mount from the ceiling? Instead, you can use this to play your movies with little fuss. On the other hand, we feel like it would make a great gaming device. Hook up an external controller over your Bluetooth, load up an iPhone game (maybe something from Square Enix) and enjoy it in all of its 120-inch glory!
1 Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard
We absolutely love this gadget! It’s super futuristic, with its red lasers and hologram aspect. That’s right, the Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard projects a hologram keyboard with red lasers! You look pretty awesome when you pull this out in front of your colleagues or friends. The device projects a virtual keyboard and all you need is a flat surface for it to display upon. At that point, you just type away like normal. Sure, there isn’t the feedback of a physical keyboard, but it’s much cooler looking. That said, the main benefit is that you can carry a keyboard around, for your iPhone or iPad, right in your pocket! There’s no way you could carry a full keyboard with you. And we love it for our iPhone, because sometimes the onscreen keyboard is just too small. No more sending emails to our bosses that were meant to begin with, “Hello Daryl!” but you missed the “o.”