Back in July, New Orleans natives Trey DeArk and Terence Green ran a Kickstarter project for their slick reappropriation of the iPhone 4/4S' built-in LED camera flash and iOS' LED Flash Alerts called FLASHr. Now they're back with a similarly hypnotic pulsating light case for the iPhone 5: Sparx. Like FLASHr, when the user activates LED Flash Alerts in the iPhone 5's Accessibility settings, Sparx uses its LED camera flash to project brilliant glows in a variety of colors when calls, texts, emails, and all Push Notifications (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, games, and related apps) come in. With a Sparx case in place, flashing notifications are visible and vivid from any orientation, and give dime-a-dozen iPhones some individuality and disco ball swagger. As someone who feels more things should have disco ball swagger, I say Bravo, Sparx, and best of luck to you.
As with the FLASHr, Sparx backers have their choice of iPhone 5 case colors, including Black, Burnt, Blue, Pink, Green, Yellow, and Grey. Each case color includes a preset glow frame color as well, but those who buy more than one have the option of mixing and matching, as all Sparx parts (4 total) are interchangeable. A Kickstarter special edition Sparx is also available for $50 as a clear case with a green glow frame.
With their case's transition from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5 DeArk and Green also made some changes and design improvements. Some of these include:
- A brighter glow frame with more efficient light guide.
- Camera lens protection from items in pockets/purses.
- Hex backlight to ensure visible notifications while iPhones are face down.
- Protective raised front bezel to allow for placing phone face down for privacy without risking its screen contacting harmful surfaces.
- Dockability. The Sparx bottom can be removed for use in any dock.
- Upgraded case geometry for a more protective design.
- Access to all iPhone 5 interfaces.
- No restrictions on use of camera or flash--just slide the switch down and the iPhone camera system will function the same as it would without the Sparx in place.
- All materials and access openings strictly adhere to Apple Case Design Guidelines found on their developer site. Sparx uses no Metals, glass-filled plastics, or carbon fiber, and provides total open air space for all antennas.
Sparx's funding goal is a hefty $50,000, so it will need a lot of support by its January 3, 2013 deadline at $35 per case. Estimated delivery date for backers if funding is successful is February 2013.
November 2013 Update: Sparx did not reach its crowdfunding goal, and is not currently available for consumer purchase.