I found a Kickstarter project called King's Assembly that is pretty much scrambling my brains. It's a a keyboard, mouse, and joystick, all wrapped up into one. More importantly you never have to take your hands off to access all three functions at the same time. The keyboard is split in half, one half for each hand, and both halves have a palm rest that allows you to move them easily so you can control the mouse that's built into the bottom. Both halves also have a joystick you can manipulate with your thumb. This is someone thinking differently, and then some. I had to watch the video to get it. They've already raised $40,000 of a $20,000 goal, with 49 days left to go—folks are interested in this thing. There are multiple stretch goals, too, for increased functionality.
Look out kids, your parents are about to pretty much have your number. A company called BleepBleeps has launched a Kickstarter project for Sammy Screamer, the first of many devices designed to help parents monitor their young kids. Sammy Screamer is a movement sensor you control with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It's designed to scream when it moves, so you can hang it on a door, on your fridge, in a cookie jar, or anywhere else you want to watch without having to actually watch. That's pretty clever, and the company has already raised US$59,000, almost three times its goal of $20,000 with 16 days to go! There are still plenty of funding options that get you one of their first devices, so check it out.
Even though Pocket Tripod may not look exactly like a tripod, it does fit in your pocket and it holds your iPhone just like a real tripod. It collapses flat and is small enough to fit in your wallet, it can hold your iPhone in portrait or landscape mode, and pivots to a wide range of angles to make it easier to get just the shot you want -- or to watch a movie. It doesn't require mounting adapters like traditional camera tripods, either. Pocket Tripod is priced at US$26.99 and is available from BiteMyApple.
Here's a neat video by SET Solutions showing a 13-inch "iPad Pro 13" running OS X. I'm dismissing it as a leaked product, but it's a heck of a mockup. Apple has shown no interest in combining iOS devices and OS X, and CEO Tim Cook and other executives have been very dismissive of "hybrid" devices in the past. MacRumors also pointed out that senior vice presidents recently said in an interview that combining the two platforms is a "non-goal." Still, this video is awesome and it gives a good look at what an iPad running OS X might look like.
Check out CableKeep by Nice by Design, a very clever device that holds your iPhone's wall charger and gives you a place to wrap your Lightning or Dock charger cable. That's cool all by itself, but they designed it in such a way that allows you to rest your iPhone on the CableKeep while it's charging. They've also got one that's designed to hold the larger iPad wall charger, and if that's enough, there are models for European and UK plugs, too. Clever, functional, useful, and fun, all in one package. Oh, and they're available in five different colors. They're US$16 a piece, or you can buy five for $60.
I love Twelve South's design aesthetics, and I have a couple of their products on my desk that I use every day. On Thursday, the company announced Compass 2, a new version of the collapsible iPad stand inspired by a compass (the drawing tool, not the directional device) and designed to work with all iPad and iPad mini models. It looks great when in use, and when you don't need it, it folds up into a very small form factor that will fit just fine in your kitchen drawer. It also has a "hidden secondary leg" you can use to hold your iPad at just the right angle for typing. It comes in black, red, or silver, and it's available now at the link above and Apple Stores for US$39.99.
Other World Computing announced the ThunderBay IV on Thursday, a thunderbolt enclosure with four bays for either hard drives or SSDs. It supports RAID 0 and 1 out of the box in OS X, and RAID 5 in Windows 7 and 8. You can arrange the drives in multiple RAID sets, which is stupid cool, and you can also daisy chain five additional Thunderbolt devices plus a Thunderbolt display off of the dual Thunderbolt ports. It starts at US$494.99 for just the enclosure, with storage options up to 16TB of hard drive storage or 4TB of SSD. [UPDATE: This article was updated to clarify RAID support for the device based on a clarification from OWC.]
CruxCase is developing its new CruxEncore Case derived from a Kickstarter project. With the look of a Macbook Pro and focus on the light weight and feel of a Macbook Air, the CruxENCORE uses Bluetooth connectivity as well as a raised, full-sized QWERTY keyboard. Unique with this product is the hinge that allows the keyboard to swivel and act as a stand. The anodized aluminum case and keyboard weighs 1.45 lbs (658 g), just slightly more than the Brydge for iPad 2,3,4. Inside is a 360 mAh battery that will power the Bluetooth system for an estimated 30 days. This Kickstarter project currently has more than 265 backers, and the funding deadline is Sunday, March 23, 2014.
On June 15, 1983, Steve Jobs gave a talk at the Aspen Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado. He was, as usual, his visionary self, predicting things like ubiquitous portable email, the iPad, wireless networking, and more (the full speech is available for your listening pleasure). He used an Apple Lisa to manage a six-projector setup and, after the speech, conference organizers asked Jobs for something they could include in a conference-themed "time tube" (because tubes are cooler than capsules): after brief contemplation Jobs surrendered his Lisa's mouse and into the time tube it went. Since then the time tube was lost to, well, time. Time and re-landscaping. Lost, that is, until National Geographic's Diggers did what they do, and they found it. And yes, the mouse was there, in tact and pristine. Thanks to CNET for publishing the video.
Not everything Apple thinks up lands on our desks or in our pockets. Many of those product designs are still interesting because they offer some insite into the company's thought process and let us dream about products that never were. Design Taxi tossed together a short list that includes actual shipping products like the 20th Anniversary Mac and the eMate, but also includes the BabyMac prototype from 1985 and a flip phone design from 1983. An Apple flip phone in 1983? We would've snapped that up in a heart beat.
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