The Genii is a case which adds flashing LEDs and media buttons to your iPhone 5. That’s right – just like the Walkmans you rocked out to in the 1980s, the iPhone 5 can now have four real, physical buttons along its edge letting your play, pause and skip tracks without dragging the iPhone from your pocket and unlocking the screen.
That’s not all the Genii does. While the media keys are probably the main event, and have some neat design touches (the skip keys are angled in different directions so you can identify the by touch), you are also treated to four LEDs whose function can be set using the companion app. Different colors can be flashed for missed calls, IM, social updates and more. Thus you can easily ignore emails from your boss whilst keeping on top of your Facebook friends’ status updates.
The case works using Bluetooth 4, lasting for a week on one charge. This does add a little bulk, but even with the battery and Bluetooth module inside it still only weighs 45 grams (well under two ounces). You’l need to charge it separately, but what’s one more gadget to plug in these days?
The only problem is that its a Kickstarter project, subject to all the delays and doubts that accompany any crowd-funded pitch-fest. The prices start at £45, or $69.