About this project
Most tablets and phones allow you to charge them or plug in a device, but not both at the same time.
The +port allows you to charge your tablet or smartphone while also using USB devices at the same time.
Your mobile device is capable of much more than you are probably aware of. +port allows you to take advantages of those capabilities while making your life much easier.
Now we want to share this solution with the world in the form of +port.
As mobile products are becoming very common both at work and home, we see a strong and growing need for +port. People should not have to wait for their devices to charge to continue using their peripherals.
Those who have already used +port say that it maximizes the potential of their mobile devices. They can now use them for much longer and for many more applications.
For instance, you can turn a micro USB compatible tablet into a desktop with keyboard, mouse and any other compatible peripherals that you may need. Many people that own a tablet can eliminate the need for a laptop altogether, making life much simpler.
+port works with all Micro USB tablets and phones that we have tested it with, this includes all major PC and android tablets and phones. However, if you would like for us to check your device before you make a pledge, please send us a message with the type of device you are using and we will double check it for you.
We keep a +port secured to our desk at home and one at work. That way you don't need to go searching for a charging cable and it is always there and ready to go when you need to plug in.
With your support, we hope to develop +port from a working prototype into a product that is used in homes and offices around the world. This involves:
Phase 1 (March-April)
- Reach funding goal
- Begin tooling and create mold for enclosure
- Begin production of boards in Seattle, Wa
- Assembly of mold and boards
- Complete packaging design
Phase 2 (April-May)
- Complete the production run for all Kickstarter Exclusive +ports
- Ship Kickstarter Exclusive +ports to Backers
Phase 3 (May-June)
- Start production run for the second batch of +ports
- Finish shipping all batch 2 rewards to Backers
We started working on +port after we kept running out of battery power on our tablet PCs when we most needed it. Having used tablets in work and personal environments, it became apparent that we needed to find a way to power our tablet and also use USB peripherals.
We set out to solve this problem thinking it would be a relatively easy task. We were surprised to find that the first prototype we made to solve this problem for our own use ended in complete failure. Simply motivated by the challenge and necessity of creating this product, we ended up devoting months to working out a solution.
The design of the housing had to be functional with the circuit board and also be as small as possible. After considering many different form factors we decided on one that fit the board without adding any unnecessary volume and weight, while being elegant and easy to use.
The first functional prototype was created using USB 2.0 and then tested with a small USB hub to check if multiple devices could be used at the same time.
We tested the circuit board with multiple outputs to ensure that it works when adding them to the system.
After the circuit board was finalized we set out to create a housing that secured the board in place and also makes manufacturing simple through a three step process. The work was all done on the CAD program Pro Engineer.
After several attempts we have created a housing that allows the board to slide in and be secured by tabs and a cap.
After the first working prototype, we received a lot of enthusiastic responses from others that also wanted one. That is when we decided to try a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to make +port available to everyone.
Where we are at:
The prototype in the video and pictures is exactly how we intend to build it in production as it works not just in performance but for ease of assembly as well. The first samples will be given to us in the next few weeks and we will test them extensively before we give them a green light for production.
Initiating production requires a large amount of initial cash. That is why we need support from you. Once our funding is achieved, we will begin with ordering the final molds and having the housings and boards created in large quantities.
Our backgrounds and degrees are in design, business, product development and electrical engineering. Our two engineers have 40 years of combined experience designing, creating and successfully sourcing electronic devices. We know that we have the best combined skills to make +port into an elegant, useful and high quality tool that anyone can use. Now that the testing is done and the patent has been applied for, we want to commit ourselves to bringing +port to market. Please help us make it a reality!
We support http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
As with every project, there are unforeseen risks that are inherent with the manufacturing process. Building electronic devices is a time consuming and complex process, and transitioning from a working prototype to a full blown production model is the hardest part.
We have a very keen eye for detail and one of our biggest challenges lies in making sure that every +port that is shipped is of the highest quality and without compromise.
Delivery times have been kept conservative in case we run into any production issues. Our promise to you is that we will not allow anything to be shipped until it passes our high standards.
We will do everything we can to keep you informed on every step of the process along the way. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, your device will charge at exactly the same rate as it would if it were plugged directly into the wall without +port.
Will the +port work with my Dell Venue 8 Pro and allow me to use other power adapters and peripherals at the same tiime?
That's a great question. The +port was specifically designed for use with the DV8P because of it's shortcomings. The +port will let you use most any USB power adapter to charge your DV8P and allow you to connect other USB peripherals at the same time. The +port also powers down stream devices as well so no need for a powered hub or worrying that your DV8P doesn't have enough power for your devices.
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