Ever notice how so many iPad cases aren’t nearly as functional and cool as the iPad itself? Presenting the DuCase, an iPad case with a hinge providing 270 degrees of rotation so that a perfect angle is possible for every activity. Most iPad cases only provide two or three angling options, so the This allows it to be used in a range of pictured scenarios such as hanging off the foot of a bed.. The DuCase works with iPad versions 2, 3, 4, Air, and Mini. Pricing is a bit higher than other premium cases at $50 and a DuCase with genuine leather costs $65. Upon reaching a funding goal of $50,000, the DuCase will be available to backers in June 2014.
There are many charging stands and docks available for smartphones and tablets, but relatively few can accommodate the multiple mobile devices that stuff our modern pockets and bags, much less are ready for the emerging wave of smartphones. Straight outta Brooklyn comes the oxymoronic Firststand 2, however, employs a clever hollow tube-like design that not only plays well with a smart — or really any —watch, but also accommodates resting phones and even tablets. The space inside the tube can be used for cables, keys and other small items. A bevy of length configurations stretch from a $29 early bird to a $99 combo that includes a 10″ and 4″ stand. Alas, backers’ digital darlings will likely have to flail about in lesser homes until at least May 2014.
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.
Bloki is a small piece of plastic that holds your iPhone or iPod touch in a slightly tilted horizontal orientation, the perfect angle for use as an alarm clock. In cradling the Lightning or 30-pin connector, it doesn’t block the speakers, allowing the alarm to be heard clearly. Creator Franck Ergas seeks only $1,200 and has done a good job supporting a wide range of older iPhones and iPod touches and seeks to support even more phones in the future. Backers should expect them at their bedside by March 2014.
The patented SmartSound case combines a kickstand and audio amplifier for your smartphone, making it four decibels louder with the stand closed and 10 decibels louder with it open. As explained in a rambling seven-minute video, focus was placed on allowing the kickstand part to open as quickly as possible. Backers can expect it to ship in March 2014 for the iPhone 5/5S and Galaxy S IV for $25.
The Premise. Anyone who owned a tablet or an iPad knows that these rectangular electronic devices aren’t exactly easy to hang on to. And it’s not a good idea to drop something that costs hundreds of dollars, either — especially when the screens are prone to cracking.
The Product. The Gerp Grip combines a suction cup with what looks like a computer joystick or pistol grip. It has a locking mechanism similar to those used in many windshield mounts to ensure your device doesn’t go flying. The Gerp pulls double-duty as a handle and a stand, and it can balance on softer surfaces like couches and beds.
The Pitch. The video features some bad dubstep as intro music, a “fishbowl” effect on some of the scenes, and the narrow screen (suggesting it was filmed on a cell phone). Bad editing aside, though, it does a great job of explaining and demonstrating the product. The name of the item is a bit of a mystery and is never explained although we can assume it’s a play on a vastly misspelled version of ergonomic grip. In any case, the pitch really showcases the product and explains why someone would need it.
The Perks. Your admission ticket to the world of Gerp ownership is $25. It goes up from there, with higher donations coming with colored Gerps, and multiple Gerps.
The Potential. There are other products that can act as both a stand and a hand grip for a tablet. But while the Gerp is a bit bulky (or perhaps ergonomic), it can work with just about any smartphone or tablet that has a smooth surface. The product offers a simple solution to a common problem. Until these Gerps catch on, you might look a little awkward walking around with your tablet on a stick.