My girlfriend and I eat a lot of spinach. [ed. note-this is my official entry into the 2008 "Most Unexpected Opening Sentence in a Tech Review" competition.]
We joined a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, last year and receive a bushel of whatever is fresh off the farm every week from spring until fall. A side effect of this is the fact that until the succulent peppers and tomatoes start to ripen in July we often find ourselves buried under mountains of greens-chard, kale, collards, spinach and the like. We’ve learned to blanch them, sautée them, bake them and eat them raw in salads.
It also means that my girlfriend spends a lot of time checking her teeth for hangers. For years, we had a secret routine where she would turn to me and say with a big smile, “How’s your grandmother?” The correct answer is always, of course, “Deceased.” But the question is actually a cue for me to check her teeth and respond either “fine” or “she’s having a little trouble” and point to the corresponding part of my own grillwork where there might be an offending stray bit of greenery. An aside-When you’re pointing to your own face to let someone else know that they have a sesame seed in their teeth or maybe a stray bit of nacho cheese in the corner of their mustache, do you point to the same side or the mirror image? Just curious.
Anyhoo, it looks like technology has put me out of another job. Because my girlfriend doesn’t need to inquire about the health of my dead relatives anymore. I’ve been replaced by The Echo Mirrored Screen Protector.
The package comes with a microfiber cloth to clean off the surface of your iPhone, a plastic screen protector and a credit-card sized squeegee to smooth out any air bubbles from beneath the surface of the protector. Application was easy, especially if you follow the clear instructions included with the product. I’m usually pretty good at installing things that have no moving parts and don’t come with an installation CD.
The screen protector stays firmly in place, and can be removed, cleaned and replaced with no damage to the iPhone. The product is precision trimmed to fit perfectly over the screen, but you can also buy versions for the iPod Touch, Nano or untrimmed for customizing it you your own device.
When your phone is powered down, the polarized surface of the Echo Mirrored Screen Protector serves as a perfectly reflective surface, suitable for applying your make-up, checking your teeth or determining whether your eyes aren’t too bloodshot to meet with your boss after that long night of “networking.”
Through the magic of polarization, once you turn on your iPhone the mirror effect turns into a translucent screen protector. I did notice a slight dimming of the screen as the light passed through, but not enough to affect readability. When I was outside in direct sunlight, some glare did intensify the mirror effect, but it was easy enough to adjust the angle of how I held the phone to allow me to see the screen. Considering the usefulness of the mirror and the protection factor of the Echo, it was certainly worth rotating my wrist a couple of degrees.
I was concerned that the use of a screen protector might make it even more difficult for my clumsy fingers to touch type on the iPhone’s touch screen, but I did not find this to be the case. My girlfriend’s nimble fingers can still fly across the keyboard as she bids with impunity on eBay in her search for the perfect handbag. Maybe I should be looking for a screen protector that actually slows her down…Or buy her some mittens.
Images courtesy of the manufacturer.
The Echo Mirrored Screen Protector is available from Proporta at their website.
What I Liked: An inexpensive way to protect your iPhone investment while providing an alternative to carrying a mirror around with you. Plus if you’re ever stranded on a desert island, you can use it to signal rescue planes. Easy to apply and use.
What Could Be Improved: A little bit difficult to see through in direct sunlight.