Kickstarter Spotlight: A lounging iPad holder, a Smart Cover clip, and a magnetic stylus
[Kickstarter is changing the way tech products get made, but it's hard to tell which projects are worth backing. For every sure-fire hit, there are dozens of flawed ideas and inexperienced teams. Our Kickstarter Spotlight series highlights a few projects worth checking out, and gives you an idea how they might turn out.]
In this installment of Kickstarter Spotlight, we take a look at an iPad holder/stand to use while sitting or lying down, a clip for getting more angles from the Smart Cover, and a magnetic iPad stylus that stays with your iPad.
The idea behind the tablift (funding through July 12) is simple: Neither desktop stands, lap stands, nor single arm mounts provide an ideal way to interact with your iPad in bed or on a chair or couch.
The solution, at least according to the designer, is the tablift—which is basically an iPad holder with three slots, resting atop a set of sturdy, positionable spider legs (assuming that spider had only four appendages). Or an a more technical level, a mounting base made from high-impact ABS plastic with a matte finish, and legs of a double re-enforced metal spring core.
It’s designed to work with all iPad models, in both portrait and landscape modes, and would sell for $80 to $90 if funded—reasonable for such a product.
The designer’s background is in Japanese style rain chains, which doesn’t exactly scream tech, but he consulted with some industrial designers and the prototype looks solid. The legs might not be long enough to accommodate every body type, but that seems like a fixable problem (and something the designer has said could be address in a future version if there’s a demand).—Jonathan Seff
Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad was a painfully clever innovation—it attaches to the iPad magnetically, and its trifold form makes it work as a stand in two ways: at a slight incline for easier on-screen typing, and at a steeper, propped-up angle for video viewing.
The Smarter Stand (funding through August 13) by Dogtan Saguy makes Apple’s Smart Cover (and the newer Smart Case)—well, smarter. Available in white, light grey, dark grey, blue, green, pink, black, navy, and red, the Smarter Stand is simply a pair of slim clips that attach on either side of your Smart Cover, blocking its built-in folds.
In doing so, the clips offer numerous new usable, stable angles for the iPad: a 33-degree stand position, a 45-degree stand position, and other configurations. Those angles make it easier to, say, watch movies with the iPad on an airplane, or to angle your screen in a convenient position for typing, without revealing what’s on its screen to everyone around the table.
At this writing, the Smarter Stand has earned more than four times as much as the inventor is seeking. Saguy says he’s reached his final prototype and is ready to submit his 3D model for mass production, and now he’ll have the funds to do so. Though he doesn’t reference any experience in mass manufacture, his substantial funding ought to ensure that he can get the advice and information he needs to turn the Smarter Stand into a reality.—Lex Friedman
There are many, many, iPad styluses already of the market, so what makes the Motive Stylus (funding through July 17) special? It’s a magnetic, unraveling pen that attaches itself to the iPad Smart Cover when you’re not using it so you don’t leave it behind. Think of it as a Transformer—a stylus in disguise.
Like a pencil, the anodized aluminum Motive Stylus is hexagonal when together and acting as a stylus. It comes in black, silver, red, or blue, and includes two screw-on tips: a soft tip (2mm max compression) and a hard tip (.5mm max compression). But place it on the front of the Smart Cover and the stylus’ neodymium magnets attach to those in the cover and let you ‘unroll’ the Motive Stylus to lay flat—and not get in the way of the Smart Cover’s functionality.
The Motive Stylus is an interesting product designed to make itself more useful—an attachable stylus is one that you’re more likely to have with you at all times. The unique concept and experience of designer Ben Powell give this Motive Stylus a strong chance of success in my book.—JS