Tech Accessories

Ledge takes the edge off the front of your MacBook wrist rest

Typing on the MacBook’s keyboard is surely a joy. The steps Apple has taken in order to produce a keyboard that is comfortable, clicky, and just plain fun to use have always hid a darker side to it — a side your wrists all about. It may be something that isn’t talked about, but those sharp edges on MacBooks can be a little uncomfortable. While it obviously isn’t a deal breaker, it can still be annoying to feel its edge pushing into you simply because you’re typing. The folks at Applied felt the same way and what started out as a personal solution quickly became something they decided to make for everyone.

Their product, Ledge, is an aircraft-grade aluminum attachment for MacBooks of all sizes that adds a round corner to the laptop’s edge. It’s an extremely simple solution that maintains the MacBook’s form factor and weight while adding a marked change in comfort. Its $39 price point places Ledge firmly in impulse purchase territory for now before it jumps back up to $60 on release; expectant backers will wait until April 2015 for this one. Until then, Applied hopes enough people make the jump to fund their $12,000 campaign.

Tech Accessories

Hitchhiker sticks an external hard drive somewhere where it won’t be seen

Having enough storage for all the necessary programs, files, and downloads that a project may entail can be difficult with a laptop. External hard drives fix the problem, but are bulky and take up space. Now, Hitchhiker is putting a stop to both of these problems. At its core, Hitchhiker is a 1TB USB external hard drive that can be connected to any computer or even an Xbox One console. In order to keep it handy and save space, the Hitchhiker has a housing that can be attached to the device itself, and then it snaps into place with a locking plate.

Just the housing is also available for those that don’t need to replace their existing external hard drive, making it easier to take their files with them wherever they go. The inventors at Deenosaur are out to raise $78,000 to make Hitchhiker a viable commercial product. Getting the Hitchhiker with the hard drive will cost backers $79, and will be out in April 2015. Most devices come with enough storage now to circumvent the need for external drives, and if drives are needed, they’re often so small as to stay out of the way. But if buyers are particularly anal about their desk space, Hitchhiker could be one way to fix that problem for good.


Bicyclick shows that a bike pair divided against itself cannot stand

The Premise. Without kickstands, it’s difficult to keep your bike upright. In addition, when parking a bunch of bikes together with family and friends, one strong breeze can cause a domino effect of falling bikes. No one enjoys untangling bikes that have fallen over.

The Product. Bicyclick is a clever little product that screws into the side of your bike handle. Bikes using this product can click into one another to them upright. The product also comes with a rubber strand that holds down the brakes so that the bikes don’t roll away together. Bicyclick is designed to fit together bikes with handles of different heights and can attach as many bikes as possible. Its completely black and discreet meaning that when its not in use, you won’t even notice it. Different versions make it possible to connect to a variety of handles.

The Pitch. This charming campaign video features soothing Irish music while the creators talk about the pitfalls of fallen bikes. They show the Bicyclick doing its thing with tons of different types of bikes on all different kinds of terrain to display how versatile it is. Photos of the product in action permeate the rest of the campaign. Bicyclick hopes to raise $25,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign. 

The Perks. One Bicyclick costs $25 or two for $42. The product offers different types of attachments for different kinds of handlebars. Estimated delivery is set for October 2014. Reward tiers reach up to $700.

The Potential. For those without a kickstand or those who have had trouble using a kickstand, Bicyclick is the way to go. It’s perfect for couples, families, bike tours or anyone who travels in a pack. It’s great that it attaches and stays on the handlebar, making it easy to use and transport. For many, this product doesn’t seem super necessary, but for outdoorsy types and those who live in California, like the creators, Bicyclick will certainly come in handy. 

Input Tech Accessories

Zmartframe has the magic touch to transform monitors into touch PCs

zmartframeWith tablets quickly becoming common devices that consumers own, the clunky keyboard-and-mouse input of desktop machines is beginning to feel obsolete. Zmartframe is a device that offers two-point multitouch on any 19- or 22-inch monitor. The device straps onto the monitor and features an easily-calibrated Windows touch PC interface, but with the flick of a switch can also turn any monitor into a stand-alone Android PC. Devices like these have existed for some time now, but the actual functionality has been suspect, so it’s up to Zmartframe to really stick the execution on this one. Supporters can get their fingers on the basic Zmartframe in October 2014 for $260.


GarageSkins give your car keeper a new facade

GarageSkinsEver want to glam up your garage door, but don’t think a flag will do the trick? Try GarageSkins, panels designed to stick to your aluminum garage door to make it look like it’s made out of wood. These overlays use real wood with different finishes and designs to class up your doors. Best of all, they’re easy to install and only take about an hour to apply. A one-car garage system goes for $395 and a two-car system goes for $700 with an estimated delivery date of May 2015. GarageSkins hopes to raise $75,000 in its 45-day Indiegogo run.

Cell Phone Accessories

Snap adapts to affix your smartphone to nearly anything

The Premise. Phones and other essential items take up valuable space in pockets and purses. They also cause for a messier lifestyle with everything floating around willy-nilly.

The Product. Snap offers a better way to keep your life organized. Snap is an accessory for your phone, tablet or any other portable device that attaches to other essential items such as money clips or earphones. This nifty product can even be used as a mount to put on bicycles or the backs of car seats. Using a male/female connector system, one side sticks to the device using a strong adhesive while the other side clicks into place.

The Pitch. Snap’s snappy video is silly and fresh, making fun of “too cool for school” campaigns. The creators are smart and use the rest of the campaign to articulate problems they’ve encountered with other mobile accessories and say how their product solves those problems. They really emphasize the fact that Snap isn’t the type of accessory that changes with each new device, but that it is universal and adaptable. Pictures towards the end of the campaign show different ways to use the product. These creators from Utah hope to raise $40,000 in a 45-day run on Kickstarter.

The Perks. Snap keeps it simple with only four reward tiers. Right now, Snap’s creators are only offering the wallet and earbud attachments separately. Both go for early-bird prices of $10 and later-bird prices of $12 with estimated delivery set at May 2014.

The Potential. Snap presents an efficient way to organize your life with tons of different possibilities. Lately, lots of other products have been trying to do just that. The Sinch is a small accessory that keeps your earbuds untangled, but can only be used with earbuds. The Nerd Herder gadget wallet is a more elaborate, feminine item that can hold a phone, earbuds, money, credit cards and other things all together. Snap seems to be the most compact of these attachment accessories, but one drawback may be that only one attachment can be used at a time. Still, its universality is welcome in the mobile accessory market where most items are expensive and can only be used with one type of device.