Cell Phone Accessories
ComboZip zips together USB cables for on-the-go charging, syncing

The Premise. People use their smart phones all day and everyday because they’re convenient. They become inconvenient when the battery dies or when the memory becomes full. Because of this, it is necessary to keep USB cables and even memory cards close at hand to avoid losing important information.

The Product. ComboZip is a bracelet with a built-in USB charger cable and microUSB cable for Android phones. The USB cable has a microSD card inside of it that allows for OTG file transfers on the Android. The bracelet looks like a giant zipper and comes in five vibrant colors: black, blue, pink, yellow and white. But the benefits of the zipper literally extends beyond aesthetics or wearable utility, enabling the cable to join source and target up 40 cm apart. The exterior of the bracelet is made with plastic silicone for a durable, splash-proof product.

The Pitch. ComboZip’s campaign kicks off with a straightforward video of the creator, Gary Lap Kei Tao, talking about what ComboZip is and how to use it. He states several times how fun and fashionable his product is,. but that probably applies only to pre-teens. The rest of the campaign shows the prototyping process, the several different ways to wear ComboZip and the materials used to create the battery-bridging bangle. Gary and his two partners (pictured in unenthusiastic photos) seek  a relatively low £2,000 after canceling a first campaign attempt seeking thrice that amount.

The Perks. For £8, early-bird backers will receive a ComboZip that has only charge/sync functions. For £10, early-bird backers get the ComboZip that has OTG file transfer capabilities. Later backers pay a little more for each version; £10 for the charge/sync ComboZip and £12 for the OTG ComboZip. Estimated delivery is currently set at April 2014.

The Potential. ComboZip makes sense for students and businesspeople who run around all the time with their phones and laptops. Sometimes, it is entirely necessary to recharge or back up important files throughout the day. ComboZip provides a way to carry around a charging/memory cable without it getting all tangled up. As a fashion statement, it’s doubtful that many will want to actually wear ComboZip because it’s a bit clunky and gaudy, though the campaign states it can easily be kept in a bag or clipped onto a backpack. Indeed, it faces plenty of competition from other compact cables such as the most stylish popcord, versatile Torso or jigsaw puzzle piece-like LifeLink as well as many commodity retractables. Younger users into colorful plastic bing may not appreciate ComboZip’s OTG file transfer feature and card reading capability, but its place on a wrist should make it worthy of a Snapchat photo from the mall food court.

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