[Sponsored Report] Smartphones need ‘app-cessories’

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[Sponsored Report] Smartphones need ‘app-cessories’

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Left : Ion Audio’s “Piano Apprentice” teaches how to play piano when connected to Apple iOS devices. Center : Mottr’s newly launched Galileo, a wireless tripod with 360 panning and tilting rotation. Right : Belkin’s Live Action Microphone for audio playing around has an application that links directly to email or Facebook. Provided by companies


The smartphone accessory market is rapidly growing and they’re not just to protect or decorate your mobile device any more.

The new smartphone accessories work together with apps to do things.

How cool is that?

They are called “app-cessories,” accessories that connect to applications to expand the capabilities of mobile devices.

Together with the merely decorative, they are part of a burgeoning market.

KT’s research institute Digieco said the size of the smartphone accessories market was 245.5 billion won in 2010 and 500 billion won in 2011, while industry sources estimate the size will double this year.

App-cessories are the ones to watch.

Philips’ innovative In.Sight wireless home monitor is a kind of app-cessory, useful to working mothers who want to watch over their kids or home from the office. It’s like a mini-CCTV setup. You place a small camera device anywhere that a Wifi Internet connection is available. After downloading the free application, you can then view images from the camera from your smartphone. The app even alerts users when motion or noise is detected.

Mottr, a small American company, has introduced Galileo, a totally unique smartphone tripod that can be controlled remotely. Galileo is only for Apple products that run on the iOS operating system.

Here’s the idea: let’s say you’re videochatting with a sales team in a remote location. They are using an iPhone to record their side of the conversation. You are using another Apple mobile device, say an iPad.

If their iPhone is mounted to a Galileo, you can control its movement from your iPad screen. So you can pan to each member of the team, to the whiteboard they use for a presentation, or to the floor or ceiling: Galileo has 360-degree movement.

Papa and Toy’s “Smart Karaoke” is must have app-cessory for people who enjoy singing and recording their songs. The device detects songs in a smartphone and offers instrumental tracks of the songs from the Internet so people can sing to them.

Other musical app-cessory includes Ion Audio’s “Piano Apprentice,” which teaches you how to play piano on an iPhone or iPad. The device is a 25-key keyboard. After you connect your iPhone or iPad and run the downloaded app, it shows you how to tinkle the ivories ? and a key lights up when you’re supposed to play it.

Belkin’s Live Action Microphone enhances sound recording capabilities when recording lectures, memos or even live concerts. Users of the microphone and app can also record things and send it directly to e-mail or share them on Facebook.

Lots, a smartphone accessory store launched by Pantech, a local mobile phone manufacturing company, is introducing various smartphone accessories with colorful designs and new functions.

“With domestic sales of smartphones expected to reach 30 million by next month, the market for smartphone accessories is also rapidly expanding,” said an employee at Pantech.

Lots offers premium accessories such as fashionable earphones from British headphone brand Accutone, and smartphone cases such as “Bling Bling LED lighting case” and “Foliocover.”

According to software company Mom’s, smartphone users are now purchasing accessories over 40,000 won ($35.37) without hesitation, and it’s jumping in the business.

“It is a new trend in the mobile and IT markets now,” said an employee at Mom’s.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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