Cell Phone Accessories Input Tablet Accessories

Bpen makes a stand with a stylus

The Premise. Touch screens devices are all the rage these days. The only problem? You have to touch them, leaving behind messy fingerprints on every phone and tablet. Also, as smartphones and tablets become capable of more and more, it’s become increasingly necessary to prop them up. It’s much easier to Skype, play games, send e-mails and many other things if both hands are free and the tablet or phone is upright.

The Product. Bpen really is much more than a pen as its slogan claims. It’s a multi-use tool that works for almost every smart phone and tablet out there. Bpen is a regular pen, a stylus that can be used on touch screens, and a stand for tablets and smart phones. It may just julienne potatoes as well. It’s made out of aluminum and comes in six different colors. The pen comes with the option of buying a base to help it function better as a stand (though the base isn’t entirely necessary outside of the car). Part of the pen folds out and plugs into the headphone jack to provide stability as a stand. In addition, Bpen’s creators have come up with a mini Bpen, lightweight enough to attach to a keychain.

The Pitch. Bpen’s Kickstarter campaign shows a video of the Bpen in action, displaying its wide range of uses. The rest of the campaign details how the idea for Bpen was conceived, as well as how the idea was developed. Lior Avrahami, Bpen’s creator, is looking to raise a modest $5,000 on Kickstarter for his product in a 40-day stretch.

The Perks. A minimum of $15 will get the backer two of the mini keychain Bpens. From there, an early bird special of a $25 donation is rewarded with two Bpens. Going up to $50, the backer will receive a set of Bpens and two bases as well. With each tier, the backer can choose which color their Bpens will come in. In addition, some tiers have the added perk of getting ink refills for their pens. Avrahami predicts that pens will be received by backers in April, which, given his experience with the factory he uses, is realistic.

The Potential. There are a lot of styli and stands out there for smartphones and tablets. Other dual stylus/pens exist, such as the lovely Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo found here, but none quite so Batman that they also act as stands. One drawback of Bpen is that when the stand is in use, it renders the headphone jack unusable. Other than that, Bpen should be a handy accessory to draw upon.

Cell Phone Accessories Tablet Accessories

eShades provides outdoor readability on the cheap

The Premise. The displays on many of today’s mobile devices are very sharp, but don’t do well fighting the sun. Pretty much everything except the Kindle Paperwhite becomes very difficult to see. Unless you can find a spot in the shade, you’re not going to be able to work outside.

The Product.  The lightweight, collapsible eShades offer the protection you need to be able to see your screen. They attach using a tape that sticks well but doesn’t leave any residue, and they fold flat. The phone shade can fit into a wallet. If you want, you can leave the shade on as a screen cover when not in use. The idea is not unique — another Kickstarter project called Hoodi offers a larger and more permanent shade made of fabric, foam and magnets instead of cardboard and tape.

The Pitch. The video is straightforward and showcases the product without a lot of flash. The video has simple shots of each of the shades and how they can be stored. It also shows the screen on a tablet with the shade on — and the shade only covers half of the screen (not the greatest advertising). The project creators show, with a fan, how the shade can stand up to high winds — although you’re not likely to be sitting outside with your expensive electronic device in stormy winds, but okay. There are several diagrams below the video that showcase when the shade would be good to have, and also what models and colors are currently being offered. They do go on to mention that they have the same shade in a leather option that would be more substantial.

The Perks. They seem to be reasonably priced shades — for $9, backers receive one smartphone shade, and for $11, one tablet shade. A donation of $14 will get the backers a notebook shade. The rewards go up from there, offering each shade in multiples. The product itself offers some protection from sunlight and offers some privacy.

The Potential. This type of product will definitely have a place for everyone who has suffered the plight of trying to use their smartphone or tablet outdoors. There are many of these types of items that will be offered, and more permanent options (like the leather eShades or Hoodi) will do better than the thin eShade.

Cell Phone Accessories Music Tablet Accessories

Drytunes delivers the sound waves while in water waves

DrytunesThere is a veritable ocean of Bluetooth speakers out there, but how many can be used in the ocean? If the creator of Drytunes has its way, you’ll be able to pack up your troubles, or at least a few of your valuables, in music-spewing suitcase enclosure and toss it straight into the water without worry about damage. Project creator Michael Applebaum uses his radio-friendly voice to tell the story for the submersible speaker system. This includes having people express surprise at how good it sounds, although such demonstrations are of course hard to appreciate through whatever speakers you may be using. Drytunes is being made offered to backers for $315, or $299 if you catch the early bird and should be available in March 2014.

Tablet Accessories

GHold gives the iPad one-hand access

GHold CloseupA follow-on product from an Edingburgh design team that created a way for food servers to carry trays above their head with one hand, the G-Hold makes the iPad less awkward to hold in one hand. There are other such products, today and others coming, but some aren’t easily removable or rotatable. The launch video, which includes some cute scenes, shows some of the many scenarios for the product and (shaky) video shot while using it.  Creator Allison Grieve is offering the G-Hold with either an adhesive (£13) or microsuction (£19) back as well as integrated into a leather carry case expected for delivery in April 2014.