Huh? Mini phone attaches to the phone you already have

One company thinks you need a small phone that hitches a ride on your larger phone -- and the idea actually might not be as crazy as it sounds.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
3 min read

It might look like a calculator, but it's actually a mini phone for your bigger phone. (Because we all need that, right?) WiMe

Do you find yourself reaching for your smartphone mostly to look stuff up on Google, watch videos, snap pictures and play games? If so, it seems you might have lost sight of the original purpose of the device -- it's a phone! If this sounds like you, Taiwanese company WiMe has one solution: a tiny phone that attaches to your main phone via a protective case. It's called (logically enough) Talkase.

That's right, it's a phone that rides on your, um, phone.

Why on Earth would someone want or need this? That's certainly the question I asked when I got an email about the gadget. But after watching the below video about the device, which is currently part of a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $60,000, things became a little more clear (although who knows what the guy is carrying around about 35 seconds in).

First, a bit about the Talkase. It's a super-small cell phone that looks like a pocket calculator (and can also act as one) and snaps into a range of cases made for the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus. You can connect the little phone to your bigger phone via Bluetooth and it will automatically send and receive calls through the main phone. Or, you can insert a micro-SIM card into the small phone and it will act as a fully functional GSM phone all on its own. While the cases are only for iPhones, the mini phone itself can tether to any Bluetooth-enabled phone and work just as well.

So back to that question: A phone for your phone? Really?

Well, it kind of does seem like overkill, but as an owner of a Galaxy Note 3 myself, I do find that the limits of my dexterity are tested every time I try to get my ringing phone out of my front pocket while driving (or getting buzzed in a boring meeting). If I had the Talkase, I could have my mini phone conveniently slipped into my shirt pocket to more easily answer calls. It's only 5.5 mm thick (about .2 inches) and it's about the length and width of a credit card, so it's super easy to carry around.


Another benefit of the tiny phone is that after it's juiced up using its own little charger, it can hold that charge for quite awhile -- the makers claim it'll run for 100 hours of standby and 2.5 hours of talk time. So if you're going to be away from power outlets for a while and only need a phone with you -- and not the portable computer most of our phones have become -- you'd be all set with this little guy once you swapped in your SIM card from your main phone. The same holds true in the event your main phone runs out of power and you need to make a call.

Finally, the last reason to grab one of these might simply be the cost. Right now you can get the phone and the case for just $25 (about £15.50, AU$28) -- and that'll go up to $49 (about £30, AU$55) through stepped increments as the campaign goes on. And that certainly seems worth it for the fact alone that once you start wielding this thing in public, you're bound to be asked, "Excuse me, is that a phone attached to your phone?"