Looking for a case to make your iPhone stand out from the masses?
In the first five months of 2014, we’ve already seen a healthy heap of weird, ridiculous, and amazing iPhone covers. These inventive accessories attempt to redefine not only what a case should look like, but also what one should be capable of.
Dive in below to see 13 new iPhone cases that have caught our eye so far this year. Each one of these could transform your iPhone into something bizarre, multifunctional, or just plain special.
If, you know, you want more than protection from your iPhone’s protector.
1. A case that looks like an entree at a Japanese restaurant
You may have to change your ringtone to “Chopsticks” for this one: It’s an iPhone case with replicas of various Japanese entrees on its back. Above we see the katsuo tataki tuna entree; other options include okonomoiyaki and shrimp tempura.
And, no, you can’t actually eat any of this stuff.
$40, available only in Japan.
2. An iPhone case with a built-in remote for selfies
The Selfy case is appropriately named: It packs a removable remote control that can activate your phone’s camera shutter from afar. That means you can snap selfies without having to fumble around for the onscreen camera button.
Oh, and we guess you can take non-selfie photos with it, too. If you’re into that.
3. An iPhone case that can hold and spray your favorite cologne or perfume
The Atomyzer contains a small, TSA-approved refillable reservoir that you can easily fill up with your favorite cologne, perfume, or hand sanitizer for when you need some cleanliness on the go. Pairs perfectly with this cologne that smells like a new MacBook Pro.
4. An iPhone case that is also a stun gun
Created by the victim of a mugging, the Yellow Jacket case generates 650,000 volts of electricity that can stun an attacker. It also gives you 20 extra hours of battery life. Just, uh, be careful when you’re making a phone call, OK?
5. An iPhone case that costs $206,000
From 650,000 volts to $206,000: The jewelers at Buccellati etched this case in gold and studded it with diamonds, creating one of the most expensive iPhone protectors of all time. Attachment to make Siri speak like Robin Leach not included.
$206,000. If you have to ask where it’s available, you can’t afford it. Read more about the Buccellati iPhone case here.
6. A case that turns your iPhone into a BlackBerry
Miss the physical keyboard from your old BlackBerry? The Typo case brings it back. Slide the case on and you’ve got a tactile QWERTY keyboard, just like you had back in 2006.
Unfortunately, this Ryan Seacrest-associated company is in limbo: A recent court ordered Typo to cease sales, thanks to a lawsuit filed by … BlackBerry. Guess you’ll have to fumble around with the onscreen keyboard for a little while longer, Idols.
7. A case that harnesses your iPhone’s radiation to power notifications — on the BACK of your phone
Every phone lets off trace amounts of radiation. The team at the Ukrainian company Concepter is using that radiation to illuminate two icons on the back of its Lunecase whenever you receive a phone call or text message. It’s like your case turned into a glowing superhero.
8. A case that also houses a charging plug
Hate shoving your iPhone cable into your pocket or your purse? The Prong PocketPlug packs a plug onto the rear of the case, so you can just insert and charge your phone into any available wall socket. The Prong PocketPlug adds a bunch of bulk and weight, of course. But if you’re willing to fatten up your phone, you’ll never curse yourself for forgetting your iPhone charger again.
9. A case that turns your iPhone into a night-vision camera
Fans of the movie Predator will appreciate the Flir, a case that endows your iPhone with thermal imaging powers. Apps like Foursquare and Yelp have long allowed you to find what’s hot around you; now you can find what’s hot around you.
10. An iPhone case that is also a leash
If you need a leash for your iPhone — maybe you don’t deserve to own an iPhone? Anyway, if you really want to ensure that your iPhone doesn’t run away, you can buy a Kenu Highline, which attaches to your phone’s charging port and ensures that you never leave your phone behind.
$35, available on the Kenu website. Self-respect sold separately.
11. A case that changes color based on the moods of your friends
On the surface, the Feeling Skin case is an external battery case that can give your iPhone an extra charge when the power runs low. Pretty typical. If you dig deeper, though, it’s also a “social case,” which glows different colors based on your friends’ moods, which they enter into an accompanying app.
It’s like a mood ring for your smartphone. Groovy.
12. A case that can also light your cigarettes
The Hangout case uses technology similar to what you would find in a car’s cigarette lighter to let you light one up from the back of your phone. The phone also features a bottle opener and a tripod mount, so that you can smoke, drink, and make a movie all from the comfort of your iPhone.
This case is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo. If you need an iPhone case that is also a lighter, and can’t wait for the campaign to end, the Lightercase is $40, and swaps in a flashlight for that bottle opener.
13. A case that looks like a dead Japanese crustacean
Finally, the design of this “isopod iPhone case” is based on a popular crustacean at a Japanese aquarium that died earlier in 2014. In its honor, the museum created this limited-edition case, which is horrifying from just about every angle, but especially so when you put it up to your ear. Kill it! Kill it with fire!
Limited edition, $30. Available only in Japan, until nuclear radiation turns it into an unstoppable force of nature …