MAGZET: The Audio Jack Reinvented with the Power of Magnets
MAGZET: The Audio Jack Reinvented with the Power of Magnets
Help us bring much needed innovation to the traditional audio jack with the use of MAGZET magnetic technology in the middle.
Help us bring much needed innovation to the traditional audio jack with the use of MAGZET magnetic technology in the middle. Read more
About this project
Today we have an universal audio jack that has been the default industry connection device for decades. However, the reality is that we are more dependent on audio jacks for our computers, phones and tablets than ever before. We use this technology everywhere we go, and the unfortunate fact is that the audio jack has not stayed up-to-date to the demands placed on it today.
This dilemma is the "spark" that got it all started as we (Jon and Jeff) sat down over a cup of coffee...
... dreaming of what the world might look like with an improved audio connection solution. That is where our passion started and it has only grown as we get closer to making our dream a reality.
Our hope is that in some small way, you will be excited about this Kickstarter campaign, and you will believe in this vision and decide to join the MAGZET revolution. And if you do decide to join us, you will be the proud owner of a MAGZET before it land in stores! This is especially important for our backers in countries outside of the United States that may not always have immediate access to the new technologies – with your backing you will get the MAGZET at the same time as everyone else.
Yes! MAGZET will bring innovation to the audio connection with the power of magnetic technology…
Think about it, if we add magnetic technology in the middle (and we did with the MAGZET!), we can keep all the accessories and devices and that we already invested in and make them...
"Snap" connect enabled – The magnet technology conveniently pulls them together in a “snap” and auto-aligns even in dark environments without specific visual focus.
More reliable – Once the MAGkap (the side you plug into the audio cable) and MAGjack (the side you plug into the device) is installed, the device’s jack and your audio cable are protected from wear-out.
Safer – The magnetic technology breakaway feature protects your ears, headphones, accessories, or even worse, your device from being catapulted into hard surfaces with very expensive and inconvenient consequences.
What's so wrong with the traditional audio jack?
We have all experienced the flaws of the audio jack as we know it today...
Inconvenient - We have to “visually” focus and locate a small hole to slide things together, which is difficult to do while driving or in certain situations such as in a dark room, or while device is in a handbag or backpack.
Fragile - The audio plug has been known to breakoff in a device’s jack and/or the device’s audio jack or cable as been known to wear-out and stop working.
Costly/Painful - Pull on the audio or headset cable from a bad angle and devices have been known to be catapulted into hard surfaces with very expensive and painful consequences to your devices, and your ears, head, or other body parts.
Open Jack - With the audio jack remaining open when headphones are not in use, dirt, debris, and moisture can work its way into the jack, impacting performance.
Where can I use it?
Connecting to all your audio devices and accessories becomes simple and smooth. You can use your MAGZET with your phone, computer, tablet, headphones, stereo systems, even your car auxiliary input... pretty much any place you want an easier and safer way to connect your audio. You will want to have several, for maximum audio device and accessory versatility.
Will all my current audio features still work? What about sound quality?
Yes! We took the design time and have run tests to make sure the MAGZET functions correctly with all your favorite devices, including Apple and Android-based models. You will still be able to answer calls, use the mic, adjust volume and skip tracks via the cable inline controls when using the MAGZET. The audio quality is preserved as we use the highest quality materials and manufacturing processes that one would expect from a high-end audio accessory. Whether you’re using your favorite phone, tablet, headphones, or computer, we have made sure that your device’s functionality, audio quality, and features will continue to work just as you have always experienced with your wired solution.
What about Bluetooth headsets? Aren't they the future?
Can I really leave my MAGjack in all the time?
Yes, we wanted you to leave your MAGjack in so we invented a means to accomplish this! Normally when one plugs a connector into a phone audio jack, the phone (rightly so) thinks something is plugged in and would normally re-route the audio to headset functionality. Our technology counters the normal behavior and ensures that the MAGjack alone is not detected and the phone only detects the MAGjack when the MAGkap is connected.
Can I really trust that you can build this thing?
HOW YOUR BACKING DOLLARS WILL BE USED...
There are several tasks yet to be completed. Please watch the following video to see how your backing dollars will make them possible.
So, that’s where we stand. We have a fairly user-friendly prototype (as featured in the video). However, our design still needs to be miniaturized (made smaller), custom tooled, and ramped up in manufacturing.
THAT'S WHERE YOU COME IN!!!
These last steps are expensive, and we are asking YOU to please help us take MAGZET across the finish line. And in so doing... joining the MAGZET revolution of changing how the world plugs audio things together!
How do I back this campaign?
Backing MAGZET on Kickstarter is simple and secure - and open to everyone around the world.
- Log into your Kickstarter account, or create a new account.
- Click the green “Back This Project” button at the top of this page.
- Enter your pledge amount and select one of the reward levels. (This is the MAGZET kit you want to receive.)
- Submit your payment information - and that’s it!
You should receive a confirmation email moments after you submit the form. Kickstarter accepts debit or credit cards associated with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. All payments are in US dollars.
Please reach out to us at email@example.com if you run into any issues and we would be happy to help walk you through the process. It was little confusing for us the first time we backed a project too - no worries.
Note: Your credit card will be charged only if we reach our funding goal and after the campaign officially ends.
Rewards (this is what you get in return for backing us)
MAGZET offers several different reward levels:
- THANKS ($5): 1 - Personal note of gratitude signed by co-founders sent via snail mail
- PICK 'N' CHOOSE (Starting at $25): Unlimited MAGkaps $15/each and MAGjacks $10/each. You will need at least 1 of each, but the sky is the limit. Shipping is a flat rate by region, so the more you get the better the deal.
- PERSONAL ($35): 1 - MAGkap, 2 - MAGjacks
- URBAN ($45): 1 - MAGkap, 2 - MAGjacks, 1 - Limited edition t-shirt
- TRAVEL ($55): 2 - MAGkaps, 3 - MAGjacks
- ULTIMATE ($99): 3 - MAGkaps, 5 - MAGjacks, 2 - Limited edition t-shirts, 1 - Personal note of gratitude signed by co-founders sent via snail mail
- REVOLUTION ($299): 10 - MAGkaps, 20 - MAGjacks
MAGZET T-Shirts to Choose From
3 Promises to Our Backers...
1. Give Back - We owe a debt of gratitude to the Kickstarter community and promise to support other projects and even your own projects. Just let us know about them! We hope that our project inspires others.
2. Proactive Communication - We will proactively communicate to our faithful backers the good, bad, or otherwise, as it unfolds. You are in this with us!
3. Environmentally Responsible - To the extent possible, we will be a good steward to the world around us, even if it costs us a little more. We have a long-term perspective, and the environment will remain a part of our decision-making paradigm.
*** PLEASE KEEP SCROLLING FOR A DEEPER DIVE INTO DESIGN/RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ***
Designed with a "Simplicity" Focus
If there is one word that sums up the MAGZET – it would be simplicity. On the outside, the Series1 looks clean and simple, and the user experience is just as easy... just "snap" the MAGkap and MAGjack together, and you are off and running – i.e. it just works! However, the most simplistic of user experiences is realized by a level of "sophistication under the covers," which we will continue to dive into with the next section.
Research and Development
As in any entrepreneurial invention, the idea is the easy part; the hard part is the actual realization of that idea into a tangible solution that people would really find valuable and be willing to purchase.
So, we got to work over a year ago, pulling off many late nights. We researched by tearing into numerous devices, including Apple and Android based models. We analyzed various magnetic strengths and tested early prototype concepts, improving each design iteration, with a plugfest with real people and devices.
Here is just a small snapshot of the work we have completed from a Research and Development perspective, to give you a taste of what we have been up to.
The MAGkap and MAGjack
Both the MAGkap and MAGjack are designed for easy use and consist of quality components to make sure you experience the high fidelity sounds you expect from a great audio accessory.
"We designed to the standards of a product we would be thrilled to use in our own daily lives."
The design gives you a 360 degree solid connection, while still having the added benefit of magnetic breakaway protection. The graphic below cycles through several of the MAGkap and MAGjack design iterations we explored through the design process.
Engineering and Testing
When we said we literally tore into jacks we were serious! The graphics below shows 10 very popular devices’ audio jacks from several vendors that we analyzed by cross-sectional cutout (by hand filing!) to determine their inner workings.
The analysis was key in determining a (patent pending) means to overcome the challenge that when one plugs a connector into a phone audio jack, the phone (rightly so) thinks something is plugged in and would normally re-route the audio to headset functionality, even if the MAGkap was not installed.
"We want you to leave your MAGjack in and needed to invent a means to achieve that - which we did!"
As one would expect, a product based on magnetic technology required considerable magnetic analysis and design effort. We needed to determine the optimal magnetic strength for both holding under normal use and for the magnetic breakaway protection features.
"It took us months to zero into the optimal magnetic strength after testing dozens of magnetic materials and shapes."
The fun video below illustrates the magnetic holding force on the prototype concept shown above.
Note: The video’s audio track is that of our co-founder (Jeff) showing off his mad electric guitar skills!
The latest prototype is shown in the graphic below. It has yet to be miniaturized (made smaller) and does not display the final color scheme. The prototype was rapid-prototyped through the use of 3D metal printing and CNC machining processes and was hand assembled.
After spending the last 15 years working in the IT Industry, I (Jeff) left my job looking to do something different. One day, I was sitting in a local coffee shop and ran into a friend of mine named Jon Hallsten. Jon was closing one chapter of his career and was considering starting a new innovative product design company. We started talking about coming up with a gadget idea that we could take to market and had mass market appeal.
That's how the concept of the MAGZET product got started. Being a guitar player for the last 40 years, I mentioned that it seems crazy that we still plug things in and out to connect to devices, i.e. guitar amps, headphones, etc. Jon agreed, and that’s what got us working on the product!
Special Thanks to: Raymond Bugelski, Steve Chiles, Rodney Ross, John Buchanan, Paul Evans, Adam Rissmiller, Matt Orley, Shane Sevo, Scott Foster, Bob Martinez, Jay Yoo, Jon Fawcett, Kyle Crocker, Ken Burns, Vince Fisher and Zach Beaver for their expertise in support of this project. All the talented people at Orca for all their hard work and design assistance. All the trailblazing entrepreneurs on Kickstarter, whose campaigns we watched and learned from. And most importantly, we are so grateful to our beautiful wives, Denise Hallsten and Lisa Russell, for putting up with our long nights and for their support of our dream. We are humbled that you believe in our mission and are confident that together we can make MAGZET a reality and ultimately change how the world plugs audio things together! Again, thanks to all of you.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest technical challenge to overcome was the fact that when one plugs a connector into a phone's audio jack, the phone thinks something is plugged in and re-routes the audio to headset functionality. The good news is that we invented (patent pending) a solution to fix that problem when just the MAGjack is installed and the Series1 does not have this shortcoming.
However, our technical challenges are far from over. We all know the benefits of miniaturization. This will be especially important in a MAGjack design that is intended to be left in a device. We want to shrink the MAGZET so that it protrudes less, and has room for the magnet (with enough strength), the landing pad, and the inter-connect contact points required. Definitely a design trade off!
Another significant challenge we have is that the nature of our design requires numerous, very intricate sub-pieces, which are hard to manufacture and require expensive tooling. We must not only shrink the design, but reduce its complexity and ensure that it can be reliably manufactured over volume! That is not easy...
In light of the challenges above, our timeline could be affected if we cannot solve them in a timely manner. Should we miss our technical deadlines, we’ll let you know why (per Backer Promise #2) and make it right as quickly as possible.
Once we get a flavor for the popularity of our campaign, we will do our best to forecast demand and create a solid production plan timeline. We've learned a lot from our years of bringing products to market, but sometimes, despite our best intentions, forecasts don’t always hit the mark. Should we miss our projections, we’ll let you know why (per Backer Promise #2) and take corrective action immediately.
Supply Chain Risk
We’ve built a network of manufacturing relationships with very capable teams over the years of building products. However, component delays and unexpected shortages can occur. If this happens, we’ll be sure to keep you informed (per Backer Promise #2) and work to quickly solve the problem.
While every attempt was made in this campaign to use final design intent representations, we realize that during the miniaturization and build out process the MAGZET may have to be slightly altered in appearance and/or performance. We reserve the ability in good faith to make these changes if needed.
*** Bottom Line ***
We know what it will take to bring the MAGZET to market, just as we have with numerous other products (actually over 5 million shipped devices worldwide) through the course of our careers. We have the experience, tenacity, and relationships to deliver what we promise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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