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At DEMO today, Coveroo is launching a service to personalize cell phones and other gadgets with laser imagery. Now you can have anything from the characters of Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 video game to Garfield etched onto the back of your phone.
Coveroo can render these images in color, stainless steel engravings, gold mesh, or glow-in-the-dark versions. You order one by going to the site, choosing a phone model, selecting the design you want, and then paying for it. The company ships the new back to you, which replaces your original cover.
“The idea is to make personal electronics more personal,” said Karl Jacob, chief executive of Coveroo. “Consumers are demanding the real world act more like the online world. If I can change my online profile anytime I want, why can’t I have my favorite cartoon character on my phone.
The company offers imagery that it’s licensed from a lot of different brands, including The Family Guy, Star Trek, and Barbie. Customers can also make their own designs. Prices range from $9.99 to $49.95, depending on the type of phone you have. Motorola RAZR models, for instance, will cost $9.99. Jacob says that cheap rubber covers often cost about $20, so the low-end prices for the Coveroo backs are lower. But Jacob said he is limited somewhat by the cost of phone backs.
More than 75 phones are supported. Jacob said that there will be 100 phones in the next couple of weeks and the company will also be able to put images on iPods, laptops, journals and other devices.
It may sound like a lot of money. But the cell phone accessories market is about $40 billion. The company does the laser engravings — at a quality level of 1,200 dots per inch — at its headquarters in San Francisco. Coveroo was founded in October, 2008 and is funded by Bay Partners, Norwest and Microsoft. It has 10 employees and is raising a new round now.