Many smartphones are beautifully designed, intricate pieces of technology. Some are built from plastic, others from a higher grade polycarbonate and others still from a variety of metals. Many have a toughened glass front screen and all are stuffed full of potentially delicate electronics. Many smartphones can survive a tumble or two but this is not a chance many of us would wish to take with a device costing upwards of several hundred pounds or dollars. Because of this, we have a wide and varied market for smartphone cases of all type and design. Some are tougher than others and add shock proofing and water resistance. Others are designed to provide an element of additional protection for our devices but to also look good. There are cases covering all budgets, needs, and requirements. Quite often the manufacturer will sell a range of accessory cases for a particular smartphone and in the case of the Google Nexus, Google has followed suit, relatively recently releasing the Live Cases for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P smartphones as a follow up to the 2014 Nexus 6's Skrillex case, showing above.
Customers can design their Live Case via the Google Play Store and it can use whatever image or photograph you want, with filter and effects applied. However, unlike a normal case these Live Cases are designed to interact with your Nexus device via the inbuilt NFC (Near Field Communications) radio. When the appropriate Nexus device is wearing the case it will interact with the Live application, also found in the Google Play Store, and can show a Live Wallpaper associated with the case design. Furthermore, the case also includes a button, which is connected to the device via the built-in NFC radio. This button may be customised to perform almost any action the user wishes. The technology behind the $35 Live Case is a clever use of NFC technology. When designing the case, the Google Play Store looks through your Google Photos library to help select the right image and guides you through the 'phone model, design, and matte or glossy finish for the case. But what if you decide you want more than a picture of your cat, on your Live Case? Luckily, Google has this covered too.
Tomorrow, May 10th 2016, Google is set to unveil a new artistic partnership with American artist, Jeff Koons, to create Live Cases for the current breed of Nexus smartphones. We've seen a number musicians promoting the hashtag "KoonsXGoogle," but we have very few hard facts and plenty of speculation as to what designs Jeff may be working on. Still, a quick search of social media shows artists as varied as Bono and Lady Gaga seemingly supporting the new KoonsXGoogle project: It's unclear what for but it's expected that a series of cases and live wallpaper designs will be released tomorrow.