One of the nice things about the Apple Watch is that we can finally appreciate the design of the thing, unadorned by the ugly cases that have tarnished the iPhone landscape.
Or so we thought. While the Apple Watch isn’t launching until later this month, a bulky battery case called Wipowerband is already promising to turn Jony Ive’s design masterstroke into an eyesore. The Wipowerband snaps underneath the watch body to connect with Apple’s magnetic charging contact, and stuffs a 250mAh battery into a wraparound wristband.
The result is a more of a smart cuff than a smartwatch, one that’s guaranteed to obscure the look and detract from the comfort of whatever high-priced Watch band you’ve selected—and probably block the heart-rate sensor too. In exchange, Wipowerband says it can nearly double the Apple Watch’s estimated 18-hour battery.
If this sounds appealing, Wipowerband is charging $89 for the 38mm version, and $99 for the 42mm version. Delivery is planned for May or June, which means there’s a chance it’ll show up before your Watch does.
Why this matters: In fairness, Wipowerband isn’t the first attempt to sacrifice the Apple Watch’s form in the name of function. A variety of protective cases are also available, perfect for people who also feel compelled to put on a helmet whenever they cross the street. We can only hope the appeal of these products is limited to a few niche uses—like mountain-climbing in complete solitude—and that the Apple Watch, for the most part, remains caseless for the world to behold.