This project's funding goal was not reached on February 23, 2013.
About this project
The GSi was Designed out of Necessity!
For many, iPhone's are a part of everyday life. We depend on them for phone calls, text messaging, emailing, web surfing, gaming, photographs, videos, etc, etc.. These devices should be easily accessible while we move through our everyday life.
We found that the iPhone accessory market is saturated with good protective cases. Yet many of the quality hybrid cases out there that compliment the iPhone's superior design are expensive. Also, the existing holsters are difficult to use, uncomfortable and bulky, so many people keep their iPhone's in their pocket, purse or just hold onto them.
Our patent pending systems consist of a technically advanced hybrid (metal and polycarbonate) bumper case and quick access holster. Our design provides secure retention of your iPhone with quick and easy access. Rare earth plastic coated magnets embedded into the holster snap the bumper case in place and hold it securely. A quick twist of the wrist separates your iPhone from the holster to the natural use position. All components are meticulously designed and produced with high grade materials that compliment the impeccable quality of Apple's iPhone.
The hybrid Bumper Case is a CNC machined frame made from strong steel alloy plated with a high performance finish, combined with a high impact injection molded polymer. Both materials are joined by a unique hinge design and securely fastened around the iPhone by two stainless steel screws. The polymer has many advantages in a case design, but is primarily designed to prevent any loss in signal caused by an "ALL" metal case. The Bumper Case has been precisely fine-tuned to securely fit your iPhone using advanced TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) cushioning material on the inside of the Bumper Case. The Bumper Case provides large openings to accommodate aftermarket peripherals and audio connectors. Ultimately, it provides a rugged, yet appealing layer of protection for your iPhone!
The Holster is an innovative injection molded design made from a high performance plastic. Rare earth plastic coated magnets embedded into the holster secure the Bumper Case, yet provide quick access of your iPhone. These magnets will not damage solid state electronic devices, such as your iPhone. The Holster is precisely engineered to limit magnetic field strength from affecting items such as credit cards, magnetic I.D. cards, pacemakers or similar devices. The Holster clip has been designed to ergonomically fit your mid section. A custom ratcheting clip provides comfortable and secure attachment to your belt, pocket, purse strap, or waistband.
Additionally, the holster provides a standard tripod/monopod insert for still shot and video in both portrait and landscape orientations.
Making our Idea a Reality
With every product idea comes the challenge of verifying through analysis, design and testing. So, we asked ourselves ... is it gonna work? There were five major design questions we had to resolve in order to turn our idea into reality:
- Do magnets affect electronics?
- Do magnets affect other things?
- Will a metal case affect the operation of my iPhone?
- How do we develop a system that securely retains your iPhone and also have it be quickly accessible?
- Finally, can we make a high quality product at an affordable price?
So, let's take these one at a time...
Do magnets affect electronics?
There is a lot of information out there that addresses this point. So, we dove right in to verify what's being said, then prove it! We utilized experts in the field of design and testing of electronics for Military and Aerospace applications who understand how electronics behave during and after being exposed to different levels of magnetic fields. We also performed extensive testing of the iPhone with the use of magnets. Without going into our engineering test details, we found conclusively, that electronics and other components used in iPhone technology are solid state and do not have any magnetically sensitive components.
Do magnets affect other things?
It is common knowledge that magnets can affect other things. This is determined by magnetic field strength or Gauss. We are not comparing magnetic fields like those produced by an MRI machine, we are talking much much lower levels. More common items that can be affected are credit cards, magnetic ID cards, pacemakers, rotating drives or other similar devices. We used design practices and materials to limit the magnetic field strength from affecting these types of devices. Additionally, to validate our design we hired a 3rd party company specializing in Electromagnetics to conduct an analysis of the GSi (report will be provided in an update). In summary the GSi is a safe product!
Will a metal case affect my iPhone?
The short answer: YES. There are many cool looking metal cases out there that provide great protection, but very few have been developed that don't interfere with your iPhone's signal. The main reason behind this is that iPhone technology uses a technically advanced and intricate antenna system. This antenna system allows you and others to communicate with each other, and putting a metal case around your iPhone interferes with the signal.
So, we designed a bumper case that integrates a high impact polymer section that allows the signals to and from you iPhone to travel without interruption (i.e No Loss in Signal Bars).
How do we develop a system that securely retains your iPhone and also have it be quickly accessible?
We spent a lot of time perfecting the pull force and extraction aspect of the magnet and steel assembly design. The two challenges we successfully overcame were to make the GSi Bumper Case stay securely in the holster when not in use, then be able to quickly and easily remove it when needed.
Finally, can we make a high quality product at an affordable price?
Our mission with the GSi was to create an innovative design that is highly functional, well made and available to everyone.
You shouldn’t have to spend a lot to get a quality case and holster for your iPhone. We spent a significant amount time to make sure we could manufacture an affordable product and not compromise on high grade materials or quality. We’ve sourced the best materials available and found the right manufacturer making this a win-win situation for everyone!
We have performed extensive field testing to verify that the GSi will stay put even in the most extreme situations, yet be quickly accessible when you need it.
The GSi will work as hard as you do, even in the most extreme cases as shown in this video showing multiple back hand springs. A quick snap of the wrist releases the bumper case with iPhone from the holster.
We developed multiple body movement tests throughout the GSi development cycle to verify that the bumper case will not fall out of its holster during normal activities. We took it a little bit to the extreme as you can see from this 7 stair jump test: Strong Retention with Quick Access!
Each GSi includes a Quick Access Holster in Black and a Bumper Case in five (5) colors to choose from - (Steel Segment/Poly Segment):
Jet Black/Black, Silver/Clear, Gunmetal/Black, Silver/Magenta, or Voter's Choice. (Apple iPhone products seen below are not included in our backer rewards):
Color Option: Voter's Choice You're part of the design process! Four GSi color options are already set: Jet Black/Black, Silver/Clear, Gunmetal/Black, Silver/Magenta. If you back any of the color options, we'll email you a survey after the project duration so you can vote on a new, 5th GSi color option. Later on, we'll email you again asking which of the final color options you'd like to select. Even if you don't like the Voter's Choice, you'll be able to choose from Jet Black/Black, Silver/Clear, Gunmetal/Black, or Silver/Magenta.
(Also, each GSi will come with two custom backplates (one leather, one carbon fiber)
What we've done so far....
The pictures and videos that you see are real working prototypes. We have gone through 12 months of development and many iterations of prototyping to get it just right. Some of my colleagues think the GSi is over-designed, but in this "case", we think it is a good thing (no pun intended!)
We have developed a CNC milling machine process to make each Bumper Case steel segment consistently, and at a high quality yield.
We have completed the mold for the polycarbonate section of the bumper case. Our first molded pieces came out great. These parts are strong and flexible, complimenting the steel section nicely to make up the entire Bumper Case.
We have completed the mold for the holster/clip assembly as well. The molded parts exceeded our expectations on our first run. There are a few design changes to be made to the clip like adding a soft TPU insert for a better secure hold with different material combinations and improving the ratchet mechanism, but they will be production ready per our schedule.
Dave Garcia, GearLeash's founder, has developed the connections essential for production, distribution and delivery.
We have established the necessary relationship with our lead manufacturer and the factory is ready for us to start production. Our transportation and distribution resources are in place, and all we need now is to place our first production order.
Delivered to a Waist Near You
Your contribution will fund:- Production tooling costs and large material order of the GSi-4 and GSi-5
- Final mold cost and tooling for GSi-5
With your support we are targeting to start shipping to every backer the GSi-4 in March and the GSi-5 in April 2013.
We hope that you are inspired and excited by the idea and choose to support the project. Either way, please spread the word and share with your friends.
Risks and challenges
The risks and mitigations:
1) Quick response and working through the unknowns of setting up new tooling for volume production
-Our manufacturing relationship is well established and is understood to be critical in keeping our project a priority and on schedule.
2) Completing the clip mold
- The clip mold design modification should be complete by the end of February.
3) Fine tuning the bumper case polycarbonate color options
-We are working with our manufacturer to determine the correct color adjustments, specifically on magenta and to develop the Voter's Choice color option.
4) Completing the GSi-5 prototyping and molds
-The solid model is complete and verified with the iPhone 5. Prototypes samples are expected to be received by early February
5) Quality Control checkpoint at all levels
- We have developed a procedure to ensure checkpoints are performed at every level of the production process. These will be fine tuned once we launch a large production order.
6) Distribution of large quantity
-We have developed the distribution channels for large volume and the factory is well experienced in this area. Although, final verification is pending a large order being placed.
We will keep you informed along the way and share with you our progress and challenges to bring the GSi to your door!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Gear System for iPhone 4/4s and Gear System for iPhone 5
Yes, steel is almost 3 times the weight of aluminum, but only half of the bumper case is steel, the other half is light, high impact polycarbonate material. The designers at GearLeash spent a lot of time making the bumper case as light as possible while not giving up structural strength. The bumper case weighs about 33 grams total.
The bumper case is CNC machined and made from strong steel alloy, combined with a high impact injection molded polycarbonate. The polycarbonate has many advantages which include reduction in weight and impact strength, but it is primarily designed to prevent any loss in reception signal that are typically found in "all metal" cases.
Yes, the GSi-4 bumper case is compatible with the iPhone 4/4S/5 in both AT&T (GSM) and Verizon (CDMA) models.
No! The system is made up of an eye catching protective bumper case as well as a highly functional holster. The holster is very low profile, ergonomic, and can clip onto your pants or shorts if you don’t wear a belt. This is a system solution, but you don’t have to use the holster. Although, try it … you may like it.
The holster comes equipped with a reinforced brass threaded insert to secure your holster with iPhone to any tripod/monopod with standard 1/4in-20 threading. This allows you to take video or still shots using your Smartphone in both portrait and landscape orientations.
Yes! There is enough clearance to charge your iPhone with a cable charger while the holster is still attached.
Very little. Neodymium magnets are the strongest and most permanent magnets known to man. If they are not overheated above 176°F (80°C) for long periods of time or physically damaged, neodymium magnets will lose less than 1% of their strength over 10 years - not enough for you to notice unless you have very sensitive measuring equipment.
- (40 days)