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Turn your favorite pen into a touchscreen stylus.
Turn your favorite pen into a touchscreen stylus.
1,792 backers pledged $73,276 to help bring this project to life.

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Harbec + One More Thing...

My senior year of college, Kim Sherman, one of my design professors at RIT, took me and my friend Sam Aquillano on a tour of the most environmentally and socially conscience factories (yes a factory) that I had ever seen. I still haven't been another like it. 

They had a windmill generating electricity. They were recycling the heat given off by the machines and using it to heat the building. They had parts of the plant that were built to LEED standards, before there were LEED standards. Best of all, they weren't just "green" for green's sake, the initiatives they were taking on reduced cost and helped them provide great work to their clients. Most of what the owner, Bob Bechtold, was talking about flew right over my head, but I knew that one day I was going to make something there.

That factory is Harbec Inc., located just 15 minutes outside of downtown Rochester, in Ontario, New York. They are responsible for molding the tip that will be on your Stylus Caps. This weekend I visited Harbec and Mark Manzoni, the project manager for the Stylus Cap tips, and got to check in on the progress they are making with the tip refinements. Let's take a look in the video below.

But, there is one more thing...

I have a confession to make. I haven't told you everything I have been working on for the Stylus Caps. In fact, there is a key feature I've kept secret, waiting until I knew I had it worked out. It's time to reveal that feature. Make sure you watch the video through to the very end and I don't think you will be disappointed.

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iPad 2

I'm just about to go to bed for the night (I have to get up in about 4 hours to go to the first manufacturer) but I couldn't resist sharing two things with you.

1) A shot of the iPad 2 and a brass Stylus Cap working amazingly well together. More importantly, the iPad 2's industrial design is a work of art. The Apple design team really outdid themselves with this one. Holding it in my hands for the first time this afternoon, all I could think was, "This is the iPad that nature intended." It just feels right. 

And smart covers? Man oh man. That is a product only Apple would even consider developing, let alone put into production. At most companies, an idea like Smart Covers wouldn't make it out of the initial brainstorm session. "They'll laugh us out of the room". If by some chance it survived the brainstorm, it would have been killed by a number cruncher. "Magnets are way too expensive. Management will never go for it." And if by some act of God it escaped that stage, a mid-level exec would have killed it after seeing a crude prototype, "No way will we make something with magnets. People will never go for it. Where is the rest of the case?" The fact that it exists and it can be bought is just as miraculous as the product itself. A true testament to Apple's willingness to say "Sometimes the point is just to be awesome".

2) After about an hour into the flight to Buffalo, I finally started to come off of my ID geek high and put Sketchbook Pro through its paces. I whipped up this little doodle on the iPad 2 using a Stylus Cap.

Not bad, not great, just a little something I messed around with. I realized halfway through I never do any still life sketching anymore. Most of what I do is quick and dirty design sketching meant to convey an idea. I have to do more of this relaxed work just to have fun.

- Don

On to Rochester

I'm heading home to Rochester tonight so I can check out progress on the Stylus Cap tip, packaging, and look into some fulfillment centers over the weekend. It will be non-stop, but I'll make sure to keep all of you updated with the developments. There should be some nice videos coming out of it too. I can't wait to see the refinements and get some home cooking.

Also, as a friendly reminder, please make sure you have added the cost of shipping to your pledges. The update over the weekend got most everyone, but there are a few stragglers out there. Updating now will save everyone a lot of extra work. If you are struggling with how to update your pledge either check out this page for step-by-step instructions or if you are stuck, message me through Kickstarter.

Have a great weekend!

- Don

One of the things that has been going on in the background of all the development work for Stylus Caps has been setting up a e-commerce site for MORE/REAL that could be used following the end of Kickstarter funding. (I should note right here that Kickstarter Backer pre-orders will be fulfilled before anyone else can get their hands on one.)

Now, I have thoughts on e-commerce, I like e-commerce, I've coded some very basic websites, and I think I can do a decent job of designing the wireframe and look and flow of a e-commerce website. But in terms of actually making something like a robust and secure e-commerce site work, I'm out of my element.

I'm really lucky to have a group of talented friends with a lot of diverse backgrounds. One of these friends is Chris Drackett. Chris is a UX (user experience) designer who has worked with a lot of companies, big and small, to create great digital user experiences. He's one of my close friends who I showed the Stylus Caps to before posting them to Kickstarter because I trusted his opinion. That red couch I was sitting on in the intro video? Chris's couch.

Anyway, a week or two after launching on Kickstarter, I showed him a mockup of a placeholder website I had made in Photoshop. I was liking the layout but wanted to have some sort of slide show and asked for his opinion. I was figuring there was some sort of plugin I could just drop into site to make it work. Chris basically rips the file out of my hands and within a couple of hours, has whipped up a slick little script that went WAY beyond what I was thinking. 

You can view that slideshow now at At this point, its nothing more than a place holder that directs people to the Kickstarter page, but hot damn if that isn't the nicest place holder slideshow of styluses I have ever seen. It even works on the iPad. Needless to say, Chris is now in charge of the MORE/REAL e-commerce operation. Thanks Chris.

You may also be interested to know that you can follow MORE/REAL on the Twitter: @itsMOREREAL. I have been updating frequently with little bits of progress that doesn't make sense for a full project update post.

Must-Read-Mega-Important: Shipping


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