Developers Mike Montalvo and Balaji Raghavan have set out to improve the user experience of the Apple Bluetooth Magic Trackpad and Wireless Keyboard. Their invention: Switch the power source for both these accessories from battery powered to USB plug-in. This way, dead batteries will be kept from filling landfills, and users will never have to worry about the loss of power to these accessories, ever again. Pretty cool. Also, they are keeping the same sleek Apple design for their project, so don’t worry – the minimalist style remains!
The Kickstarter Story
Once they were ready to get this project funded, they turned to Kickstarter. No surprise there. However, what is surprising is that their project was rejected! Why? Well, it’s a long story. Do you remember the runaway success of Pebble, the E-Paper watch for iPhone & Android that was funded on Kickstarter, and the one I wrote about not too long ago? (See previous article here). The thing is that $10,266,845 got processed through Kickstarter for that project alone, just about 69,000 pebbles were pre-ordered and promised to be delivered by September of 2012, and let’s just say, backers may have to wait a bit longer due to production delays. So, Kickstarter is a bit nervous about strictly hardware projects that need successful production before being sent to the backers.
All this to say, in response to the Pebble scenario, Kickstarter may be placing a temporary stop on accepting (some) pure hardware projects. Unfortunate for both Mike and Balaji as they are huge Kickstarter fans and frequently monitor the new technology / design projects.
Moving Forward . . .
So, after being shutdown by Kickstarter, they took their project to the second most popular crowdfunding website: Indiegogo. They launched the project with a $6,500 goal, and have currently received just about $2,500. However, time is ticking . . . the project ends in a couple weeks! Check out their project page, and if you are currently a user of these Apple accessories, you may want to support these guys and get your hands on one of those cool attachments. You’ll be saving the planet, and never needing to scour your desk drawers in search for batteries again!