Flux+Flap Proves iPad Case Design Isn't Dead
Nov 20, 2013 5:00 AM PT
Apple's iPad already boasts far more case and stand options than any other tablet on Earth, and there are plenty of established companies with dedicated design teams vying to sell you your next iPad case. So why does an entrepreneur bother diving into the fray?
Because most cases and stands do one thing well -- but not many things well.
Still, the market is flooded. So how can a new case design possibly succeed?
Enter the Flux+Flap iPad Case on Kickstarter
The premise is simple: Your iPad case should also be a stand, and more to the point, it should be flexible to let you use it at many angles, easily. Because it has magnets embedded in a hard-shell back case, as well as in its flexible flap, you can use the Flux+Flap case to radically adjust the viewing angle of your iPad. The magnets let one edge slide along the flap portion of the case and hold tight no matter where you position it.
Ingenius, of course, in a palm-to-forehead way.
While some iPad owners tend to use their iPads in just a few scenarios, others use theirs all over the place -- in moving vehicles, in bed, at a desk, in hotel rooms, on couches, floors, kitchen tables. Invariably, certain angles will deliver a nasty glare from lights or windows, and the only way to avoid that is to move your body.
Stands that are stable on tables are sometimes top-heavy for use in transit.
The Flux+Flap promises to let you adjust the angles to maintain stability and reduce glare.
Of course, the flap is magnetically removable too.
So far, backers seem to like it -- the Flux+Flap blew past its original funding goal of US$35,000 with more than three dozen days to go. The funding period ends Dec. 26.
Because the Flux+Flap uses lots of powerful rare Earth magnets, you might even be able to stick it on your refrigerator. The promotional Kickstarter video shows this in passing, but the promotional pages don't mention the ability.
All the funding options focus on the Flux+Flap -- it comes in grey or black for a full-size iPad or iPad mini. The best early-bird option for a thermoplastic polyurethane model for $49 is full, though you can still snag the base model for $59 ($69 retail price in 2014).
For $59, you can get a black leather version, and the funding options just continue on up with various bundles. For $299, you can design your Flap with a drawing or photo.
Estimated delivery is April 2014.
Risks and Challenges
Kenny Trythall (presumably the inventor) and NewFlux Designs (presumably the company created to deliver Flux+Flap and create additional usability products in the future) say the Flux+Flap went through eight prototypes.
The primary risk is a standard manufacturing risk -- that something will need to be fine-tuned, resulting in a delay. To minimize these risks, Trythall has been working with a manufacturing partner in Shanghai since April.