Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on March 25, 2014.
About this project
What are the Corners™?
Corners™ were created to provide protection for the iPad ® body and a screen and not negatively impact design aesthetics by keeping most of the tablet housing body exposed and only covering the very corners of the device with clear protective pieces.
How do they work?
Corners™ are designed in such way that instead of using screen/body protecting accessory (tablet case for example) they would provide scratch/drop damage protection to the screen glass and tablet housing. In case of using Apple iPad® Smart Cover™ or substitute, Corners™ would not interfere with its functioning but rather enhance the use of it by adding drop damage protection, housing scratch protection and will help with alignment of Smart Cover™ within the perimeter of the device when closed.
How are they made?
Corners™ will be made using Makrolon® polycarbonate because of its unique combinations of properties. It is virtually unbreakable, lightweight with glass-like transparency and is impact resistant – even at extremely low temperatures.
It has a high dimensional stability and is easily molded, yet has excellent heat resistance with a glass transition temperature of up to 148ºC. Impact modified Makrolon® is used in safety goggles, helmets, riot shields, holsters and other tactical gear.
Ease of use.
To apply Corners™ to iPad® we are using 3M™ clear adhesive tape 300LSE. It is unique, high-strength acrylic adhesive that is ideal for applications requiring extremely high peel-bond strength, high temperature tolerance and resistance to chemicals. For easy application it comes on clear PET film for ease of alignment over corners of the housing.
Corners™ allow access to all buttons and switches while keeping camera lens, headphone jack opening and speaker grills clear from interference.
Corners™ provide sufficient protection for iPad® screen and for minimalist use can be used without cover. When used alone they provide perfect grip on slippery screen and smooth aluminum housing of iPad® .
AirCorners are compatible with Apple iPad® Air and iPad® Mini with Retina Display. They work for both models because Apple standardized features (thank you, Apple) on them and even though overall dimensions are different – it does not affect the way Corners™ are applied to both models. iPad® Mini also has similar features and, being thinner (7.2 mm in comparison to 7.5 mm for both Air and Mini Retina), will accept AirCorners but they will not work as they were designed to work for drop protection. We will start a funding campaign for MiniCorners as a stretchgoal $100,000 of this campaign and Corners™ for iPad® 2,3,4 as a stretchgoal $150,000 of this campaign.
My name is Vladimir Kulenok. I am an engineer and a user of computer tablets (iPads in particular) in my professional life for product presentations, email etc. and in personal life to same or greater extent. When my six year old girl dropped our iPad2 from barely 2 feet on porcelain tile in mudroom and it cracked digitizer screen having a back case installed!!! – I knew that there should be a better way to protect it, other than our old semi-clear, brand name, TPU back case (ugly yellowish now after just 1 year!). I have never even considered getting our iPads in a case that adds three times the thickness and doubles or triples it in weight. We are getting premium devices for premium $$ and last thing we want to do is to hide it in a bulky, ugly case that has nothing even remotely of design quality that Apple devices have… Even though new Apple Smart Case™ give some drop protection and does look good – still not as good as a bare iPad®, and it costs $80 on top of $500-900 we just paid for tablet itself! That is where Corners™ come in. Simple to manufacture, made with tough clear Makrolon® polycarbonate, Corners™ are designed in such way that they utilize advantages of Apple iPad® aluminum “unibody” housing design/implementation which provides, in conjunction with factory glued digitizer glass cover, structurally more sound (rigid) enclosure (comparing to the most of the tablet manufacturers market). More rigid enclosure allows redirecting/ distributing impact load from the point of impact to other parts of enclosure thus reducing the risk of aluminum housing corner crumple pockets collapse and resulting digitizer glass cover breakage which, in return, weakens whole enclosure rigidity and allows housing flexing to greater extents thus causing even more damage to digitizer glass cover and whole assembly. Geometry of Corners™ is making it impossible to create most dangerous impact condition when direction of impact is dead perpendicular to the landing surface, when all the energy of impact is dissipated over short travel distance (thickness of the back case shell for example) before it hits solid housing corner and continues crashing it inevitably cracking digitizer glass cover and weakening the tablet assembly in whole. While Corners™ are not crash proofing the device - they are greatly reducing the chance of breaking digitizer glass cover and keeping it and tablet housing itself protected from scratches in everyday use.
Here is a picture of the one of early prototypes that has not survived testing (saving an iPad though:). They are not clear like our final prototypes you see in pictures, but we needed strongest material that was available for 3D printing on PolyJet printer for functional testing. Physical properties of all materials used for 3D printing are not even in the same range as in actual parts made by injecting plastic in a mold.
Here is the Corners™ Timeline. You will notice that we have accomplished some very significant milestones, including setting up our manufacturing and tooling design. We are now focused on making of an injection mold (tooling) and initial run of several thousand of Corners™ before starting full production.
- Engineering Design: Summer and Fall 2013
- Prototyping/Testing: December 2013/February 2014
- Selected manufacturer: December 2013
- Starting Tooling: End of March 2014
- Initial Run Manufacturing: End of April 2014
- Full Production: May 2014
- Shipping Rewards: May 2014
We wanted to make this project as clear to you, our supporters, as clear as our Corners™ are. From design concept to finalized packaging all stages of the project have been thought out to be as user friendly as if it was prepared for retail chains.
Now we need your support to overcome the costs for tooling and initial run production costs. Support our project, let simplicity and purposefulness to be in demand again. Thank you very much from all of us!
Corners™ is Patent Pending
iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, Smart Cover are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Makrolon is a registered trademark of Bayer AG
Risks and challenges
We have spent a lot of time to come up with a design, we believe, meets the highest standards of performance, usability and simplicity. After several prototypes and design changes we've finalized tooling design (plastic injection mold) and have lined up tooling and packaging vendors. Once goal is reached (even before Kickstarter campaign ends), we will get started on tooling (local machine shop is waiting for the green light to go ahead). Reasonable estimate for the tooling of this caliber is only 3-4 weeks, which puts us in a middle of April for the 1st production run. If everything goes smooth (and there is a very little that can go wrong – we have been running manufacturing operations for the large aluminum/zinc die casting company for over 15 years) we should be able to start shipping early bird pledges by the end of April. We played safe and indicated that shipping starts in May, but if we get production running before that – we will not be holding orders until they are due :)
In case if any unforeseen problems do come up, we will make sure to let our backers know as soon as possible.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)