The tough-as-nails Otterbox case just became a lot more flexible.
Otterbox announced it will team with various tech accessories manufacturers — including SanDisk, Olloclip and Square — for its new modular smartphone case system known as UniVerse.
The UniVerse Case System, available for the iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus/6s Plus, consists of a protective case with swappable modules for attaching other third-party accessories via slotted rails to the back and top of the case, such as Olloclip’s four-in-one smartphone camera or PolarPro’s Trippler tripod.
Devices will feature branding indicating they are official members of the Otterbox ecosystem.
All of the module partners will participate in the “Made for Otterbox UniVerse” ecosystem program, which requires that devices pass Otterbox’s third-party drop testing. A UniVerse logo will be featured on the packaging, and participation also gives the partners access to Otterbox’s distribution and retail network.
The actual iPhone case comes in black or white and features a removable plate for when the external modules aren’t being used. The iPhone 6/6s version is $49.95 while the 6 Plus/6s Plus is $59.95. A company spokeswoman said Otterbox is investigating the system for use with other devices.
The case and some of the accessories are now available on Otterbox.com and will be sold through Best Buy and Amazon on May 29. Best Buy stores will feature interactive displays with four case/module combinations (see image below). When a consumer picks up one of the modules, the display’s video screen will play an accessory-specific lifestyle video showing its use case.
Modules that are currently available include the Nite Itze Steelie vent-mount kit, and PolarPro’s BeatPulsar speaker, Stance tripod, Trippler tripod, TrailBlazer armband, PowerPack battery and Stash Wallet. Modules that are “coming soon” include the Square Contactless and Chip Reader, Olloclip four-in-one lens, Goal Zero Slide battery, SanDisk iXpand flash drive, PolarPro FishEye camera, Seek Compact thermal imaging camera and Manatee Works StingRay barcode scanner.
Although the modules are designed for use with its specified device, the spokeswoman said other accessories may work “on a case-by-case basis.”
“In some instances, the product could work without the case and with devices other than the iPhone; however, that is on a case-by-case basis. For example, Olloclip is highly engineered for an exact fit, so the four-in-one lens for the UniVerse Case System will only work with the UniVerse case,” she noted.
Additional modules are being planned, and manufacturers seeking to participate can email email@example.com for more details.
The company released a promotional video showing how the system works: