Smartphones always seem to run out of juice at the worst moments. And as we become increasingly dependent on them, it will continue to happen more and more frequently. TravelBuddy makes sure that when you’re caught with a dead battery and no cord, you’ll be just fine. This small battery plugs into the wall and into your iPhone, without a cord. It provides fast charging on the go. The best part is that it’s a keychain, so you’ll always have it on hand. Coming in five different colors, one TravelBuddy will cost backers $30 at an early price or $35 regularly. This product hopes to raise $10,100 on Kickstarter. Hopefully, TravelBuddy will be compatible with other types of smartphones in the future. Another drawback of the TravelBuddy is that you’d still need an outlet in order for it to work, unlike the similar Buckle Charger. Still, outlets usually aren’t too hard to find and if it charges the phone fast, then all the better.
If you look hard enough, most problems have pretty simple solutions. For the problem of shaky videos, pipilala has created Snapshot: a simply designed, lightweight clamp that you can carry around anywhere by attaching it to your keychain. The product lets you prop your smartphone up on a stand so that you can experience a a stable video-recording experience, something many of us could use to begin our Oscar worthy films, according to the creator. But don’t worry as it doesn’t come with a Oscar-level price tag: each Snapsot goes for just $10 if you’re early enough. Pipilala is looking for only $3,000 by mid-October.
Communication, social media, games, navigation — the way we use iPhones is a lengthy one, making it the most important tool in someone’s pocket. Products that save the day come in all shapes and sizes, but none charge the iPhone universally, a problem to which Oivo is the solution. Two magnetically connected halves hide connectors that accept four AA batteries, allowing users to bring their phone back to life anywhere in the world to locate that next point of interest, or to make that necessary call. How long it will with just four AA batteries remains to be seen, but those still interested can receive one in December 2o14 for $39.
It’s outrageous to think a single item can tame the legions of mighty and lustrous beards ruling over the chins of men the world over, but Joe Bencar and his Handlebeard have stepped into the arena to do battle. Whatever you do, don’t let the keychain comb’s diminutive size or whimsical handlebar design fool you: this is 3.5 inches of pure, anodized aluminum, water-jet cut to keep booming bristles in check. Reasonably priced at just $10, the Handlebeard’s lightweight design will accompany you anywhere you go. Even if the Handlebeard doesn’t come across as versatile as the GoComb, stretch goals include additional color options and a titanium version that inject variety and strike fear into the hearts of even the most labyrinthine mane. It’s due to whisk its way onto keychains in November 2014.
The great thing about all-in-one devices is the way that they reduce both clutter and the bulky, pants-sagging weight caused by having a gadget for each function. Smart Keychain is one such device that combines a key-finder, a flash drive, and an email reader into a keyring display with a USB port. At the same time, the low-tech look and feel of the product and the bulky addition it makes to any keyring detracts from features mostly offered by the phone that isn’t being ousted from the pocket. There are some really good tools here, but this feels like an unnecessary reinvention of the beeper. Smart Keychain is available for $59.
In an increasingly wireless world, we still need a whole lot of wires to keep our devices charged. It can be difficult to remember your charging cord at all times and definitely inconvenient when you’re caught without it. Echo Connect aims to fix this problem. This product is a small, silicone keychain that syncs and charges your iPhone, iPod, iPad or even Android phone from anywhere. This British product is a slightly more stylish version of the Chargekey device made with the same idea in mind. Echo Connect costs backers $15 and hopes to raise $50,000 over 60 days on Indiegogo.
Many people own a memory stick that lives on their key chains to carry around their files with them. The GoKey is like that, but on steroids. This small keychain has memory storage, a USB to charge your iPhone 5, Android or Windows phone, and Bluetooth capabilities to help locate your keys. One drawback is that, due to its small size, you’ll only be able to eek a couple of hours out of its charge. The Stiktag also helps people locate their keys, but this is a much more versatile product. A GoKey costs backers $39 at a base price; the developers seek $40,000 in a 31-day Indiegogo campaign.
The Premise. Feeling nostalgia for the instant cameras of yesteryear, complete with dubious image quality? Did you ever want a retro-style digital camera the size of your thumbnail? How about a stunning *cough* 1.3 megapixel photo that you have to keep on some sort of accessory keychain so you don’t lose it?
The Product. This IndieGoGo project creates a tiny, functional replica of the iconic Polaroid instant camera, swapping out digital images for stamp-like instant prints. It comes with a micro-USB cord, is rechargeable, and is a little bit on the cute side. But honestly, any smartphone has a better quality camera and the ability to immediately post it to any number of social media outlets.
The Pitch. The video is an odd mashup of slow saxophones paired with teenagers on the beach and adults at some sort of cocktail party. It’s clear that the adults are having trouble holding onto the product. There’s also a sequence from the “factory” where they make the product, but the creators are seeking $10,000 to move past a prototype.
The Perks. A novelty item, the Camerama might be a good gift, or even a good gag gift. But at $50, it’s not exactly cheap compared to other keychain cameras. If anyone were to appreciate it, the target demographic would probably be teens who like to have trinkets. Backers will receive a Camerama product in return for their support.
The Potential. The creators of Camarama want to eventually expand their product line to have their digital cameras inserted into other retro shapes. First, though, they must peddle a joke-quality quality camera. At a lower price, it might show up at Urban Outfitters. Laugh-inducing as it may be, though, the Camarama is going to be a tough sell beyond the least price-sensitive of Polaroid nostalgia buffs.