At last year’s Macworld/iWorld show in San Francisco, one of the more interesting products to draw curious onlookers was the Intoxicase, an iPhone case that also serves as a bottle opener. With the Super Bowl XLVI a week later, Intoxicase was a big hit amongst beer drinkers. But this year, the developers at Sunnyvale-based Spicebox may have outdone themselves with another, more practical item known as Mauz, that enables an iPhone to perform as a mouse, remote, or touch pad.
Chief Technology Officer Ori Shaashua said Mauz will be ready as a beta release in April, with public release in June, but still put on a great demonstration of a protype. With the device's cover, it resembled a black, polycarbonate cigarette lighter, but easily inserted into the dock connector after the cover had been removed. During the brief presentation, Shaashua went through a series of tasks utilizing the sensor capabilities of Mauz by hand gestures to scroll through a screen, move through pages and perhaps most impressively, rotate a 3D image of a red car. While there are other iPhone devices that mimic a mouse, like the Mobile Air Mouse Pro, Shaashua said there was no other product just like Mauz on the market today because of its unique motion gesture capabilities.
Spicebox is already taking preorders of Mauz, estimated to be $69, but when accessing the preorder link, visitors are asked to go to another company-owned site, Kickstarter. On this site, visitors can consider helping fund the innovative project with a total minimum of $150,000 needed by March 8. The device reportedly will be available for iPhone 4/4S using the 30-pin connector or iPhone 5s with the lightning connector. The preorder offers significant discounts to the proposed retail price through an “Early Adoption Special” and currently only 12 pledges out of 200 remain for iPhone 5 users.
Earlier today the Spicebox Mauz was one of only nine recipients to receive the Macworld Best of Show 2013 award. This further distinction should help attract interested consumers who also wish to take advantage of the preorder, which still appears to fall very short of its announced minimum. However, the developers of Mauz remain optimistic that this incredible device will be released on time. In the meantime, others who already possess an Intoxicase, can take advantage of this other gadget by Spicebox, particularly with the next Super Bowl, just two days away.