Kickstarter is somehow becoming even better at unearthing smart, off-the-beaten-path ideas that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are three recent examples, ranging from niche products that should prove immensely useful to a select few, to broadly appealing devices that almost anyone could love.
iPhone becomes a mobile wallet, without NFC
The iLID isn’t the first case to double as a wallet, but it does look like a particularly smart execution of the idea. It adds very little extra thickness to the device, at 17mm, and it includes a flip-top design that makes access to up to three cards much easier, and also has an integrated money clip, plus a space for holding a key, too. Slip-in/out designs I’ve seen previously have fewer moving parts, but are potentially less secure and sometimes make it hard to get your stuff in and out.
It’s available in both black and white, and it’s about halfway to its funding goal of $10,000 with 10 days to go. A $30 pledge secures a pre-order. I think I could get away with just three cards and a key for most daily excursions, what about you?
A backward-looking addition to a future-focused device
Remember your old hard-wired telephone, with its spiral cord connecting the handset to the cradle? That springy cable made it so much easier to talk on the phone while wandering around or doing more than one thing at a time. The iPhone’s (s aapl) relatively short, fixed dock connector cable isn’t at all similar to that relic of a bygone era, which can be very annoying when you find your iPhone is out of battery and you still need to use it.
The Curly Cable is a solution that combines the best of the old with the best of the new, by adding an extending spring dock cable that can grow from 8 to 70 inches. That should make it way easier to talk and charge. Likewise with the iPad, which is even more difficult to use while charging, and because of its larger power demands, also needs to be plugged in a lot longer before it gets full. Fifteen dollars nabs a pre-order for the Curly Cable, which is a little less than halfway to its $1,500 goal.
A stylus you can’t lose
If the prospect of a stylus for your iOS device leaves you cold primarily because you worry you’ll lose it, the Estylo 1.1 offers an elegant solution. It’s a stylus that works with the iPad or iPhone’s screen. It’s made of wood that has a tip on either end: one for general use and one for more detailed work. The reason it won’t get lost so easily is that it’s also magnetic, which allow it to stick to the iPad 2 in the same way as Apple’s own smart cover.
It looks a bit like the pencil crayons we all used throughout elementary school, albeit with more modern, angular surfaces, and it will only cost you a $25 pledge for a magnetic version. The Estylo is also already past its funding goal of $3,500, with $22,137 pledged in total, so this one is guaranteed to ship.
Got an exciting Kickstarter project? Send it to us for consideration in our regular roundup of promising accessories.