Apple Watch Smart Dock
A Smart Dock with built in Apple Watch Battery Charge Status, Capacitive Touch Interface, iPhone Charger & USB Hub.
When Apple Watch was launched last year, we were very excited about trying this cool new gadget! Therefore, in order to get our hands on it as soon as possible, we were among those crazy ones who ordered the watch early morning (3 AM) of April 10th. We have been using the watch for more than 6 months now and from day one we felt the need for a good sturdy charging dock for the watch. Without it, the watch fell countless times on the floor and in some cases scratched and worse broke the screen. Moreover, the 2 meter long charging cable was hard to manage and very often a good amount of time was spent untangling it.
So, that's how our journey began in the search of a good dock for the Apple Watch. We looked through different docks available in the market but were unable to find the one that would fit all our needs. Majority of the docks in the market were physically unstable while others occupied too much space. Not only we decided to solve these problems, but we also wanted more, we wanted the dock to be SMART.
We decided to make our dream a reality so we started designing the perfect dock for the Apple Watch ourselves!
After extensive ideation and prototyping, we refined the best features of all designs into the final design.
Check out some great features of the Smart Dock for your Apple Watch below:
Click the link above to visit our project webpage for more detailed information.
Benefits of visiting the project webpage:
- Virtually Experience the Smart Dock in 3D
- Animated Features and Detailed Specs
- Detailed Timeline, more like a weekly journal
- High Resolution Picture Gallery
- Press Kit
The Smart Dock has two major parts i.e. The "Top of The Dock" and the "Smarts of the Dock". Both of these parts interlock with each other to complete the assembly.
The "Top of the Dock" could be used as a charging stand and is perfect for the night stand mode of the Apple Watch.You can easily feed in your existing magnetic charger through an open slot located in the magnetic charger pocket in the "Top of the Dock".
The "Smart's of the Dock", consists of a circuit board that monitors the charging of the Apple Watch; moreover, it also provides user with an extra USB to be used as a charging port or as a hub.
The step by step instructions below show you how to assemble the Smart Dock for your Apple Watch together.
We have two major categories in rewards i.e. 3D printed and Plastic Injections Molded Smart Docks.
We have been using the Smart Dock in different settings and after a lot of testing, we are sure that its a very useful product for the Apple Watch owners like us.
Risks and challenges
Design to Manufacturability Challenge:
As you can see in our design process video, we sketched our design first before we started sculpting it using styrofoams. For perfection, we then used CAD for 3D modeling. Once we were satisfied with the CAD results, we then used a 3D printer (SLS) to print the first prototype of the Smart Dock. 3D printing process is best suited for making prototypes but not for mass production. One of the major challenges faced by makers is that making one prototype is far easier than making thousands. Since 3D printing is a different process than plastic injection molding; therefore, we are still in the process of refining the design of the Smart Dock so that we can mass produce it using injection molding process. Since we don't have any background in designing for plastic injection molding process; therefore, we are learning on the fly. We are consulting with various injection molding companies so that we don't see major issues in mass manufacturability of the Smart Dock.
We already have prototype printed circuit boards (PCBs) that we are testing. Genuine parts availability, parts procurement, and quality soldering of the surface mount components on the PCBs is our top priority. For mass PCB manufacturing, we are also consulting with different board houses.
Manufacturing Lead Time Challenge:
We have our suppliers in place but lead times can vary depending on the order quantity and other supply chain factors, We are in constant talks with our suppliers, we have tried our best to eliminate any unforeseen challenges.
Smart Dock Features Challenge:
We have extensively tested all the features of the Smart Dock except the touch feature. Even though we have built and tested our touch sensor circuit but since its capacitive touch, we still need to test it with different plastics to make sure it works. Final version may or may not have it.
1. Low risk rewards are the 3D printed rewards because we have already tested the design and we have a ton of experience in 3D printing.
2. Rest of the rewards are medium risk rewards because of the learning curve associated with the manufacturability process.
3. For robust manufacturing we may make few minor design changes in the prototype; however, the look and feel will be the same.
4. We highly doubt that Apple will significantly change the form factor of Apple Watch 2.0 or the magnetic charger. If we are right, then we are sure that our Smart Dock will definitely work with Apple Watch 2.0 but at the moment its a risk to back Smart Dock with an intention to use it with Apple Watch 2.0.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)