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class 1 

sep 1st

What's the difference between a phone adds-on and an accessory?

During class, we shared a few examples in the realm of adds-on and accessories --

Just looking at the four examples, all of them (I think?) are powered by phone batteries. However, I wouldn't consider all of them add-ons. It almost seems like the boundaries for adds-ons and an accessory are very blurry too. 

My ranking for them (From accessory to adds-on):

disco>fan>shaver>ring holder

An add-on should enhance some functionality of the phone, or add on functionality that was not offered originally by the phone.

While an add-on should enhance some functionality of the phone, more crucially, I think an add-on should do so with its original function when the phone does provide that capability.

Take the least add-ony object - the disco ball - as an example. It did enhance the phone's capability of lighting up. Using the battery is the minimal attempt to relate the ball to its host - the phone. This relationship makes the disco ball more of an accessory that sucks up the battery. A small adjustment for this product could be a disco cap that covers the flashlight - making the phone flashlight shining disco-light which will achieve about the same effect.


The ring holder, on the other hand, is an enhancement for the mobility of a mobile phone and the camera function. Using the enclosure in the case is also smart.

What's more, to determine whether a design/product is an add-on or an accessory, the context of its usage is crucial.

Maybe there will be a context where the disco ball is crucial while your flashlight is occupied.

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