We have all fallen victim to the inevitable broken connector on our cell phone or other gadget charging cable. There is a weak point in any design, and with the current USB charging cables, that weak point is right below the connector on either side of the cable. There is a tiny reinforcement piece on most cables under the connector that is supposed to protect the cable for over straining, but in most cases that design falls short.
Tired of fixing and/or replacing these expensive cables myself, I came up with a cable design that would incorporate a built in strain relief system. And since I am a tech geek, it had to look incredibly cool! that solution is the Snakable.
Snakable is a beautifully designed USB cable for your mobile device, that has built in protection, to protect the wire at the cables' connectors from over-bending and eventually breaking. This typically happens when we roll up our cables for transport, or getting to those hard to reach power outlets. This over bends the cable at the connector, beyond it's normal functioning bend radius.
Snakable fixes this issue with it's patent pending strain relief assembly, that is on both sides of the cable, at each connector. This strain relief assembly has independent free-moving ball joints that restrict the cable from bending beyond a safe bend radius, yet still allows your cable to move naturally.
- Will be available in Apple Lightning & Micro USB.
- Will be 4 ft (1.2 m) in length.
- Will be available in a range of colors to start: Red, White, Black, Green, and Orange.
- Heavy duty cable (not like the cheapies you get on the street or drug store) with a coating that keeps the Snakable from knotting and tangling.
- Lightning Snakables will be Apple Certified under the Made for iPhone (MFI) program. That means, no "This cable may not work..." error messages on your iPhone or iPad.
I have spent the last year year creating prototypes using 3D printing technology. I began using my 3D printer, but quickly moved onto industrial 3D printing to get the most realistic product for testing.
I have worked around engineers my entire career, and if it is one thing I have learned is that although engineers work in a virtual world; a lot of the brain storming comes from nature and the world around them. Looking to nature to solve the problem of the broken cable I stumbled upon the snake. More specifically, a plastic toy snake.
The inspiration behind the design of the Snakable, actually came from an early childhood memory. The plastic snake has been won by many a kids whom do not have any aim at carnival games. Growing up I had a lot of these! The way these plastic snakes move is that they are jointed every 1 1/2 inches. This allows the snake to move and wiggle, but not beyond the limits of the joint. That is exactly what our USB cables needed, not throughout the entire cable, but on the connectors. And thus Snakable was born!
Since this seemingly insignificant toy has been so significant to the development of the Snakable, we have crowned this guys our mascot! As such, our backers will receive one in every order. Don't be afraid, they won't bite. :-)
Since Snakable's roots are in nature, we figured when it comes to packaging we should be sustainable. Our packaging will be made from recycled products. We even gave the design of the packaging an elemental flair. Each color represents a different element or force of nature. The following is a concept of proposed packaging. If our backers have any insight on packaging I would love to hear any suggestions!
Risks and challenges
I have been in contact with manufacturers and suppliers worldwide on manufacturing the Snakable. Not only did I need a supplier that could take on the manufacturing challenge of the design, but that supplier also had to be certified by Apple to manufacture lightning cables. After months of emails and phone calls I have found the manufacturer that will make the Snakable.
Once the Kickstarter campaign comes to an end, I will sign the work order to being production on the Snakable. The production schedule is as follows:
Early June: Tooling begins for Snakable pieces and mounting.
( This process takes three weeks)
Late June: Tooling is complete and testing begins on the tooling, thus producing the first part and adjusting the production process.
( This process takes two to three weeks)
Mid July: Production begins.
(This process takes two to four weeks)
Late-August: Snakables begin to ship to their new homes, yours!
I have been in production manufacturing for ten years, and understand that there could always be something to put a kink in the timeline. Our biggest challenges could be the tooling to manufacture the Snakable. Usually this is the part in the production process where most issues happen. Great tooling makes great parts, crapy tooling makes crapy parts, and everything in between. Once we get through the tooling phase, we should see smooth sailing from there. I will keep all backers updated every step of the way!
- (30 days)