The Premise. As smartphones have grown exponentially more powerful, battery life has been incapable of keeping up. Active smartphone users often have to charge their phone once or twice a day, and that means bringing a charger to wherever they need to go. The problem is, these chargers aren’t as portable as the devices they give life to.
The Product. A followup from the Portland team that delivered the similar Twig charging cable that gained over three times its funding goal, the Torso is the spork of charging devices. This all-in-one charging device is an extremely portable charging device for both iPhone and Android devices. At about the length of a thumb and the thickness of a Samsung Galaxy S4, the Torso can easily slide into your pocket discreetly with all your other essentials. The Torso also has moldable legs that allow it to double as a cord-wrapping device and triple as a tripod that props up the phone vertically. (And you’re not one of those folks who take vertical video, right?) Likely due to the thinness of the iPhone Lightning connector — which was not supported by the Twig — the iPhone version has a small grippy head to hold it steady; this reduces the flatness of the form factor somewhat.
The Pitch. The simple campaign video gets the point across straight away. It starts off by demonstrating the issue we’ve all faced with tangled cords and charging cables, and comparing that to the simplicity that the Torso provides.
The Perks. Backers can pick up the miroUSB verison of the Torso for Android and Windows Phones for $17, a 30-pin version for older iPhones and iPods at $17, and the Lightning version for $25, a bit of a premium over the relatively similar to the $19 price tag of the 0.5 meter charging cable from Apple. Shipment of the Torso to begin in April 2014 — a pretty decent bet considering the team was just a couple of weeks late delivering its first Kickstarter project to which the Torso is so similar.
The Potential. The Torso is a refreshing perspective of what used to be a one dimensional product. There are cheaper and smaller on-the-go charging cables, but particularly for those up for a quick video chat, it’s a versatile bridge between a nearby USB port and your smartphone.