KickStarter Spotlight: Zyroshell

KickStarter Spotlight: Zyroshell

Oct 3, 2012

Maybe phone cradles aren’t the first thing that comes to mind in the realm of sexy KickStarter projects, and that is alright. Unfortunately for people who want to display their phones on their car dash or besides them in the office, existing phone cradles are usually poorly planned and tend to be cumbersome, bulky, and plasticy. Leave it to G. Bert Lancaster, an incredibly creative designer to come up with the concept behind the Zyroshell, easily the worlds sexiest phone cradle.

The main design aspect behind the Zyroshell is the razor thin, totally minimalistic aircraft aluminum clamshell. Fold it up and it will fit inside a pocket, and the magnetic hinge ensures that no plastic ball joints or swivels will creak or stick while adjusting the phone. Probably one of the biggest aspects of the Zyroshell is it’s freedom of movement. As well as the middle hinge, the whole device turns 180 degrees on it’s cleverly designed base. This means that any phone can pretty much be held at any angle, which is something that most other phone cradles cannot claim.

Going back to the base, I believe that it is the most cleverly designed part of the entire thing. There are a myriad of ways to adhere GPS and phone holders to car dashboards, most of which involve suction. The problem here is that most dashboards are dusty and are usually made out of materials that are not conducive to a good seal. The remedy is to create a flexible pad that conforms to the dash, but has a flat center that allows for the Zyroshell to neatly and securely rest on top.

My sole point of skepticism comes from the almost magical way the phone is suspended in the device. There is nothing but a small circle of washable, residue free gel to adhere that $600 S3 to the dash. The provided video was very impressive but I still have my doubts and would love to see further demonstration. A nice addition, however is the standard pad cap that keeps this from getting covered in dust and dirt, as well as provides a clean finish when storing. And clean finish indeed, the whole device borrows a page from Apple, and looks like two Apple Remotes attached in the middle. Any office could immediately benefit aesthetically by simply putting a Zyroshell on the desk; it looks that good. Not to mention that person’s phone would look pretty amazing magically levitating next to their laptop or monitor.

KickStarter Spotlight: Cube

KickStarter Spotlight: Cube

Jul 25, 2012

Finding a resting spot to charge a phone is challenging because the location of the micro USB is usually at the bottom of the phone making it hard to stand and display correctly. There are plenty of docks out there that allow for a cord to run through but I have not found any that truly allow for freedom of movement and easy un-docking. Also, most Android docks are tied to other devices such as clocks and stereos which make them very expensive. This week’s KickStarter project is called Cube and it is as effective as it is simple. Taking a page out of Apple’s not-so-successful Cube G4, this Cube is made out of clear plastic with one open end.

The center is a hollow cylinder and the bottom snaps off for easy insertion of a micro-USB or iPhone connector. This cord is securely fastened to the bottom of the stand which allows for the phone to be removed simply by tugging up on the phone. This would easily pull the cord out of other stands which would force the user to have to rethread it back into the tiny holes at the bottom. Cube acts like a hardwired stereo dock but with much more flexibility. Also, the simple design that comes in multiple colors and styles of plastic so it can almost become an attractive piece of decor for a living room.

The KickStarter video shows Cube having the ability to swivel around in its inner circle to face the viewer. I have some doubts about how effective this is but the fact that this is displayed as an ability is at least promising. Another strange claim is that the Cube was designed to naturally amplify the sound of music or notifications. I do not know how much the Cube was specially designed to amplify sound so much as it was discovered to amplify it naturally.

Even through all this I am excited for Cube, as it is very attractive and simple. It fixes the problem that a lot of other stands have and delivers it all in an inexpensive package; retailing for around $25. As with all KickStarter Spotlights, there is no way it can become a reality without the support of the internet.