halo back

I love the additional screen real estate my iPhone 6 Plus gives me, but it makes one-handed usage very difficult. I can reach about halfway up the display comfortably, but anything higher than that—say, when I need to tap an app’s back button—and I have to shimmy my hand up the device.

Halo Back is a new iPhone accessory that wants to help significantly reduce the need for shimmying. Billed as the world’s first “smart” screen protector, the Halo attaches to the front of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, and gives you a virtual back button within thumb’s reach—left of the Home button.

How does it work? It’s pretty cool actually. The iPhone’s capacitive touchscreen display knows what we want it to do by reading where our fingers distort its electrostatic field. Halo simply uses a circuit layer to re-route that current, allowing your lower left touch to register in the top left corner.

The screen protector itself is made of high-grade tempered glass, and features nano coating that repels skins oils and should help reduce fingerprints. The iPhone 6 version is 130mm long (150mm for 6 Plus), 59mm wide and weighs just 6 grams (8g), so it doesn’t add much bulk to the handset.

If you’re interested, the Halo Back is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter, where you can score one for as little as $12. The project has garnered just $6,500 of its $20,000 goal, so it has quite a ways to go before it gets funded, but the good news is it still has about 25 days left to do so.

Obviously, there are some questions here, such as will the re-routed button always line up perfectly with the app’s back button? Also, would you even need this with so many apps supporting the swipe-back feature? Still it’s an interesting, innovative concept that some folks may find very handy.

What do you think of the Halo Back?