Will.i.am’s lineup of iPhone accessories is out, and I wish they weren’t. The six-time Grammy winner unveiled multiple versions of his i.am+ game-changers, and they’re nothing more than gaudy, over-indulgent lens attachments. The cheapest one, which looks like it came out of Toys R Us toilet, costs $315, and all it basically is is an extra flash module that gives users the flexibility to change lenses.
There are dozens of manufacturers that already offer the same thing, and for much, much less.
Two versions are only compatible with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, because of course they are. The middle brother, the foto.sosho V.4 (probably an upcoming will.i.am album title), is $415, and comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard in addition to its photo capabilities. Maybe these accessories really do change the iPhone into a genius phone. By adding a keyboard, and being more expensive than two iPhone 5s on contract.
But the final two accessories, the most horrifically awful and vulgar pair of engineering we’ve seen this year, hasn’t even been slathered in a price yet. These are the accessories i.am promises will do something no other company has done before, and that’s circumventing Apple’s camera components by using its own 14-megapixel sensor and 5x zoom lens. You’re basically attaching a full-fledged camera to your iPhone 5 (not available for the iPhone 4 or 4S) and letting Apple’s device act as a preview screen.
It’s unclear how will.i.am’s team made it so the V.5 and L.5 provide superior image quality, but they do, and you can wear it around your neck like a decedent piece of bling. No sample shots have been provided, which doesn’t lend much confidence to the venture, but OK. There are numerous point-and-shoots on the market you can buy that cost less than even the most inexpensive i.am+ accessory, yet you have the option.