The "pic.me" iPhone 4 Tripod Case
The "pic.me" iPhone 4 Tripod Case
The best tripod is the one that's with you. The iPhone 4 "pic.me" case functions as a case, a tripod, and still fits in your pocket!
The best tripod is the one that's with you. The iPhone 4 "pic.me" case functions as a case, a tripod, and still fits in your pocket! Read more
About this project
Thank you for checking out our Kickstarter project!
The pic.me case is a multi-functional iPhone 4 case with the main purpose of allowing users to better utilize the amazing HD video camera built into the iPhone 4. We would like your help to kickstart this project from a single prototype to a high quality production piece. Check out the video!
*Note: If you pledge money and the project does not get completely funded, your credit card will never be charged.
Attention Photographers! - We are looking into the option of adding 1/4" tripod adaptability feature to the case. Please checkout the updates and let us know what you think about this possible feature!
The Pic.Me Case
The idea behind the iPhone 4 pic.me case is to add maximum function to a case that normally just protects your iPhone from bumps and bruises. By adding an arm that rotates and locks into 19 different positions over 270 degrees of motion, the pic.me case can stand on its own in a plethora of different positions. These different positions allow you to set the angle of the iPhone just right so that you get the angles you want when viewing the screen, taking photos or shooting video. When you're done, the arm folds into the case so it's out of the way. It's like having a mini-tripod with you all the time. Use it for on-the-go videos for blogs, impromptu home videos, and soo many more uses we haven't thought of yet!
Reference images for various pledge levels.
$25 or more - The case in the video was a spray painted SLA prototype. The black or white injection molded cases will have a finish similar to the cases shown below (3GS version of the pic.me case).
$50 or more, option 1 - The case will be painted gunmetal, metallic red, or metallic blue, with a finish similar the tiles shown below.
$50 or more, option 2 - Limited edition Kickstarter only pic.me cases. Due the labor intensive painting process of creating this case, we will only offer these cases during our Kickstarter campaign. The band will be painted, and finished with a soft-touch coat.
Prototype to Production
The case you see in the pictures and videos is an SLA (stereolithography) prototype. An SLA prototype is made in a machine that is basically a 3D printer, using a laser to cure and harden layers of resin. These prototypes are fairly expensive to make ($50-$100 per piece), take hours to build up, and are not durable enough to withstand everyday use of the rotating arm. Making the parts through plastic injection molding would solve the cost/time/durability problems as well as just make the parts look a lot nicer.
Up Close with the Prototype!
We plan to have the three parts that make up the pic.me case created through plastic injection molding. If our goal is reached, we'll submit our design to a mold maker. Then they will design a mold around each part and fabricate the molds. Finally, a molding shop will take the molds and begin producing pic.me cases. The main barrier for us is the cost of mold fabrication. The injection molds needed for our project will cost $2,000 to $5,000 each to fabricate and assemble, not exactly pocket change. This is the point where we are asking you, the Kickstarters, for support.
Through mold quotes and previous experience, we are estimating that we will need $12,000 to $15,000 to pay for and complete the three molds. This estimate includes initial mold fabrication and any possible mold corrections that need to be made if the plastic parts do not come out to our specifications. The rest of the money will be used for to pay for molded parts, packaging, shipping, handling, fees, and other miscellaneous expenses that a project of this size requires. Basically, if we get funded we do not want anything to keep us from delivering on our promises to our backers.
If our funding goal is reached, we will immediately start the process of having the molds made even if the funding period is not over. After we send our design to the mold maker, it will take 6-8 weeks before the cases are ready to ship.
Involvement and Interaction for Kickstarter Backers
As a Kickstarter backer for this project you would be helping to bring this case to reality and pre-ordering a pic.me case for yourself at the same time!
We also want to bring involvement to a level beyond just showing you a product and asking for your monetary support. We plan to gather information from backers in order to determine outcomes such as available colors, finishes (matte or soft-touch), aesthetic additions to the case, etc. We want you to have a say in your project.
We are two mechanical engineers. One more focused on aesthetics, the other more focused on function. Combined, our ideas meld to deliver the best of both worlds.
The initial idea for a case that focused on video camera orientation was conceived mid-2009 by one of our friends. Because of our mechanical engineering background, he came to us for concepts that would be feasible to make and robust enough to withstand everyday use. The idea to make the case a reality was kicked around for a few months and didn't receive the attention it needed due to it being a side project to our regular day jobs. Late 2009 we decided to start making 3D prototypes of our designs. By early 2010 we had gone through 4-5 design iterations, going from something that just functioned well to something that functioned well AND looked appealing. The pic.me case was born. With the realization that we had something that might actually work, we started our MBA-less foray into the world of entrepreneurism.
With the prototype all ironed out, we got serious about finding a vendor to do the mold fabrication. At about this time, the word hit the street that the iPhone 4 was going to come out mid-2010. We had the option of taking our funds and continuing through with our 3GS design or waiting and applying it to the upcoming iPhone 4. Because of our deep emotional investment in the 3GS design, we decided to just keep going with the 3GS, convincing ourselves there would still be a market for our case. In hindsight, this was a mistake. The ratchet arm on our case worked super well and the 3GS pic.me case got great reviews, but the question was always "when is it coming out for the iPhone 4?" The follow through with the 3GS design turned into a valuable lesson in marketing, advertising, website creation, patenting, market timing, and vendor-customer interaction. The only negative was the large out of pocket expense incurred.
After almost a half year hiatus, here we are with the iPhone 4 design ready for production. Sorry, we're late to the party, but I hope you're still happy we made it to the party and are willing to support the creation of this wonderfully useful product.
Note: iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
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