Smartphones have enabled us to carry a wealth of information and media content in our pockets. That magic comes at a price though… it takes up valuable pocket real estate that could otherwise be carrying something like a Leatherman or a Swiss Army knife (for those of us not already dissuaded from carrying multi-tools by airport security). In1 has developed an iPhone case that addresses this little conundrum. The In1 Multi-Tool Utility Case sports an impressive array of accessories worthy of Victorinox without adding bulk to the smartphone package. When I saw this at CES, the first thought that struck me was, “Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?” Actually, someone sort of did last season on New Girl.
In1 Case: What’s Inside?
How much can you fit into an iPhone 5/5S case?
- A precision Phillips head screwdriver
- A precision slotted head screwdriver
- A nail file
- A toothpick
- Red and blue ballpoint pens
- A retractable kickstand (for landscape viewing)
The case itself comes in clear, white, or black polycarbonate, and the tools themselves come with five different colored tips that snap them into place. Any case can be purchased with tools in black, blue (I think it’s more aqua or cyan), green, orange, or pink. A representative for In1 told me that some users choose to buy more than one set of tools to mix and match colors.
In1 Case: Does It Make Sense?
I was still skeptical about how well this could solve my original problem… that of carrying a multi-tool onto a plane in 2014. I stopped carrying my Leatherman after the third time I had to mail it to myself from the TSA checkpoint. That has kept me from carrying even a small Swiss Army knife. In1 claims these tools are all TSA compliant. If that is true (and the if TSA agents agree with them), then this case addresses a serious need and does so with elegant execution, adding only 1.58 ounces of weight to your iPhone. At $44.95, it also does so for a reasonable price.
Like any case, the real test comes after weeks of use in hands, pockets, and purses. If the tools and the snap-on bottom of the case still hold tightly in place, the In1 could be a real winner.
As of the time of this posting, the case is only available for the iPhone 5/5S, but a version for the Samsung Galaxy S4 should be coming sometime in February and one for the iPhone 5C “soon.” I would keep an eye on their site for a formal date on those.