Kickstarter follow-up 1; what happened to the projects?
I cover a lot of Kickstarter projects on the site, because that’s where many (if not most) of the innovative accessories come from these days. I’d rather spend time covering useful, unique accessories that might not even make it to market than cover the 23864th Smart Cover companion case out there. Still, not everyone likes to pledge projects; there’s always the chance that shit hits the fan, you have to wait months for the project, and Kickstarter’sway of handling scammers and such doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Luckily, many of the projects eventually make it to market and are sold directly. Here’s a look back on some of the projects that I covered many moons ago, and where they are now.
The PadPivot was the first Kickstarter project I ever covered on the site, and is one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time with 19 times more money pledged than what they had set as a goal. The PadPivot is essentially a tablet stand that is designed to sit on your leg and give you a solid foundation for using a tablet in a chair, while traveling etc without having to hold it. The PadPivot is now available for purchase through Best Buy in the US, and while they do list international shipping costs in their FAQ, I have yet to find out where they’re selling it to international customers. A great product, but a pity to see it fall into the US only trap.
Being a rather simple product, the Dockem shipped to pledgers already in May and can now be purchased directly. The concept is a few plastic clips that you stick to the wall at a distance form one another that fits whatever device you have. They have many different Dockem packs available starting as low as $11, and unlike many Kickstarter projects they have both international shipping available and at a cost that doesn’t make you want to call the people in white coats.
Taposé is an iPad app that is all about giving the iPad the functionality of the Microsoft Courier concept. It raised 2.5 times what they hoped for back in May, and the team has been working hard at developing the app ever since. I’m a backer, so I receive updates every time something happens. They’ve still not released the app but are very close, and have only a few more features and tests to do before it will hit the App Store. From what I’ve seen in demo videos and such, the app is going to be everything I hoped for.
The Hanfree is an accessory I really wish I had every night when I go to bed. It’s an iPad holder that has a based and an extended arm in order to hold the iPad in front of your face in many scenarios, including in bed (where you’d put the base under your pillow). It was funded in May, but still isn’t available. The guys behind it are great at posting updates that explain the process though, and they’re making progress. They’ve had to move away from a plastic base due to production costs and it being too flexible, they’ve made the arm adjustable in height, and are now dealing with a feature to stop this from making the iPad hit someone in the face and bring down production costs overall. Kickstarter projects normally have pledge goals around $10000-$50000, but that doesn’t get you far in terms of manufacturing intricate accessories – and a lot of that money is tied up in shipping and materials cost for the first run, leaving much less for the tools and such that are needed. Hopefully the Hanfree guys can get this all sorted and bring the product to market soon.
Back in June when this was funded, toys that are remote controlled from iOS devices (or other mobile devices) were rare. Now they’re not, but that doesn’t make the iRemoco any less tempting for anyone who’s ever been into small remote controlled helicopters. The helicopters shipped already in July and can now be bought starting at £60 for the cheapest bundle that includes one helicopter and a controller add-on.