For those of your familiar with the Fallout game series the title of this post says it all. For everyone else allow me to elaborate. The Pip Boy is a forearm-based computer worn by the main character in the Fallout post-apocalyptic game series. The Pip Boy is an integral part of the game, providing instant information, sound and video, and even a light; everything the wasteland explorer needs (other than large caliber weapons).
My friends at Arkon have announced an upcoming addition to their line up that reminded me immediately of Pip Boy. The iPhone Forearm Holder may sport a less-than-sexy name, but it provides all sorts of possibilities for those that need to use their favorite iOS device on the go but need both hands free. Unlike the standard sport band, the Arkon holder is designed to keep your iPhone in a place you can actually interact with it instead of hugging your bicep. The neoprene sleeve holds your iPhone in a compartment covered by a strong, clear plastic barrier that still allows you to interface with the device’s touchscreen.
I’ve used an arm band for my iPhone when jogging or mowing the lawn for some time now, but haven’t been completely happy with the available options. Not only are they designed to store your iPhone in a position that doesn’t provide clear sight lines to the screen (not to mention interaction) they tend to allow the phone to flop about a bit under duress. The Arkon sleeve supports the entire length of the iPhone in a position that is easily accessed.
The only caveat I can see is the position isn’t conducive with the use of wired headphones, but this can be circumvented by using a Bluetooth wireless headset. While not an option for everyone, the average price of stereo Bluetooth headsets have fallen considerably and there are some innovative designs to cover just about any setting.
UPDATE: I’ve had some time to evaluate the accessory and have been very happy with it. The construction is lighter than I had expected; the neoprene sleeve feels durable but is thin enough to breathe. It slid on my forearm easily and felt snug even without the velcro strap to ensure it doesn’t slide. Your iPhone slides in the accessory via a small slot in the neoprene beneath the clear plastic cover. At first glance the space didn’t look large enough to accommodate the iPhone, but it did so without straining the fabric (including a CM4 Wallet Case I had installed on my phone). It was comfortable to wear and worked well with the iPhone positioned on both the inside and outside of my forearm. As I suspected using the Forearm Holder with wired headphones wasn’t optimal (but it was possible if I ran the cord inside my shirt sleeve and out the neck of my shirt), but my Bluetooth headset worked fine. The iPhone Forearm Holder has definitely taken the place of my older arm band case, but those that sweat heavily should be forewarned: the neoprene sleeve won’t keep your device dry. While I didn’t have one on hand to confirm my suspicion, I’d wager the iPhone Forearm Holder would accept an iPhone with an Otterbox or other water-resistant case.
The iPhone Forearm Holder is available via Arkon’s website now for a very reasonable $17.95.