Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 21, 2013.

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The ultimate evolution of the tablet stand. Enjoy hands-free comfort, and use your iPad or tablet in an infinite number of positions.

Enjoy your tablet anywhere. This powerful positioning system will hold your tablet, so you don’t have to. It wraps, curls, and tucks in place for comfortable browsing. Finally, hands-free!

Imagine using your tablet hands-free in bed. Whether you're watching a movie or reading a book, your tablet will float effortless in front of you. Then, imagine taking your tablet to the couch and comfortably typing. The Monkey Kit works in bed, on a couch, in the kitchen, on an exercise machine, and in the car. Octa's instruction booklet shows you how to wrap, tuck and stand your Monkey Kit in a wide variety of places.

Most stands simply prop your tablet on a small ledge. For extreme use, Octa wanted to create a stand that literally affixed to your iPad. We started studying vacuum suction handles, which is the technology construction workers use to lift heavy plate glass high into the air. Then we developed our own patent-pending twist. Using innovative chambers and seals, we reduced the size of our Vacuum Dock to fit in your palm, while increasing the amount of air displaced by each pump of its button. We did all this work so that you could affix your Vacuum Dock to your tablet with five easy pumps. (The original system required as many as thirty!) Unlike a suction cup, the Vacuum Dock literally pumps the air out from between its sealing surface and your tablet, creating an incredibly strong and durable connection. The Monkey Kit will adhere to your tablet for days!

We’ve been developing the Monkey Kit for over two years, getting everything as close to production-ready as possible. We’re nearly there, but we need your help! Our final molds are complete; our factory partners are ready. Your contributions will allow us to produce the first batch of inventory and ship it home to you. We’re grateful for your support. We’re proud to offer our backers these exciting rewards.

We’re Octa. We’re a team of eight artists, engineers and friends who are passionate about technology. We started dreaming two years ago in our co-founders' living room. Prometheus Trotsky and Nikki Braziel, who met in 2009, wanted to create ways to support the mobile nature of tablets. This meant creating comfortable physical interfaces to bridge human and technology. They founded Octa together in 2010.

Octa's first product, the TabletTail: Whale Kit, was released one year ago at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We've been selling it around the world to happy customers, but what makes us most joyful is finding out when we've improved a customer's life. Last month we had a customer email in that, because of his Parkinson's disease, he's never been able to hold or use a tablet until he got the TabletTail: Whale Kit. We hope the Monkey Kit can improve your use of technology!

We've learned a lot along the way. We're excited to bring you our latest invention and, with your help, to enter the next stage of our life as a company.

With infinite gratitude, Octa 

(Pro + Nikki + Ash + Nate + Andrew + Pete + Clay + Agave)

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Product development is no walk in the park (or swing through the trees)! We’ve spent a full year prototyping the Monkey Kit. We researched different materials, gathering and testing the strength, bend radius, and lifecycle of many components. During the development process, we created additional features, like our Rotation Lock and our Safety Lock. We 3D printed half a dozen full assemblies. When we were confident that we had the perfect prototype, we visited and inspected multiple Chinese factories. In addition to our original factory partner (from the Whale Kit), we selected another vendor, to ensure that each component was being made at the best possible manufacturer.

After sharing our engineering drawings and CAD models, our factories provided initial samples. We made minor modifications, to ensure that each part could be made effectively, and we all agreed on the best mass production techniques. This was a big win, as many inventions stumble at the manufacturing stage (because they are either too expensive or literally impossible to produce).

Then we spent many months polishing and perfecting the tools to build the Monkey Kit. We've just finished a pilot run, during which our factories created small batches of samples for us to inspect. We made material refinements based on these results. A pilot run is important, because different errors arise when manufacturing a batch of a product then when making only a few at a time.

Now, the next steps include: running injections, which is when plastic parts are run through the tools that mold them; gathering and inspecting all incoming materials and components; setting up and running the assembly line; and performing quality control and quality assurance. We test each Vacuum Dock that comes off the line before it's packaged. This 100% testing procedure is rare and time consuming, and most companies only spot check their manufacturing runs. We feel it's important to guarantee the very best vacuum seal grips every single tablet!

When the inspections are complete and the products packaged, they cross the ocean and clear customs! (We've already got our customs certification.)
Manufacturing the Monkey Kits will take no more than a month, and our shipping quotes indicate that getting the Monkey Kits home from China (which is slow by boat and expensive by air) will take approximately 35 days.

We learned a lot of lessons from our first product -- the TabletTail: Whale Kit -- and are applying them to this project. We even paid to ship the rare defective unit from that project back to our office (and provide a replacement with no questions asked), so that we could study any defects. We used these results to create a new and improved Vacuum Dock that will be released for the first time with the Monkey Kit. We also used those results to write better inspection and assembly guidelines, ensuring quality in all our future products!

There are still risks involved in production. Components can be produced out of specification, creating immense waste and products that need to be rebuilt. Assembly procedures can be botched or bungled. Delays in shipping occur. So we stay in daily communication with our factory. We have an on-site rep in China, and we will visit our factory during production.

We're confident that, with the lessons learned from our last product, we’ll deliver the highest quality flexible tablet stand available. Thanks for your help!

FAQ

  • The Monkey Kit includes two pieces: the MonkeyTail and the Vacuum Dock. The Vacuum Dock is our powerful base unit. It uses vacuum suction to connect to your tablet, creating a long-lasting and durable bond. The MonkeyTail clicks into place in a port on top of the Vacuum Dock, and it's held there by two independent locking components. This is all to make sure that, no matter how you twist or swing your tablet, your Monkey Kit will stay secure.

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  • The Vacuum Dock works on any smooth, non-porous surface. This covers the vast majority of tablets.

    Supported:

    • All generations of the iPad

    • the Samsung Galaxy

    • the Google Nexus 7

    • the Kindle and Kindle Fire

    • the Lenovo 9"

    • the Insignia Flex

    • the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity

    Not Supported:

    • the new Kindle Fire HD

    • the Toshiba Excite

    • the Toshiba Thrive

    • the Google Nexus 10

    There are so many tablets on the market that it would be impossible to test them all! Please look closely at your tablet. If there are little ridges on its surface, it may not be compatible with the Vacuum Dock. If it's smooth, you should be good to go! Please contact us with any questions.

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  • The Vacuum Dock works on any smooth, non-porous surface. This includes many cases! Smooth, plastic cases work best. Unfortunately, leather and cloth cases are not compatible.

    Please be aware, however, that the additional weight of a heavy case may impact the MonkeyTail's perfomance. We've tested the Monkey Kit on average-weight plastic cases and discovered that it still works well. However, a bare iPad allows the greatest range of MonkeyTail positions.

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  • The Vacuum Dock is 3.95 inches in diameter. It is therefore too big to fit on many smartphones, including the iPhone and the larger Samsung Galaxy Note.

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  • The Monkey Kit works great in bed, where there are a variety of ways to use it. Tuck it between your mattress and your bedframe (or your mattress and box spring). Tuck it beneath your leg or the small of your back. Wrap it into a teardrop and put it on your stomach. Wrap it around your leg. Hook it to your headboard. Stand it on a nightstand.

    The Monkey Kit comes with a multi-lingual instruction booklet that contains many ideas how to use it, and we are in the process of filming instructional videos that show even more uses.

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  • That's a great question! And one that's almost impossible to answer.

    The truth is that the performance of the Vacuum Dock varies depending on the cleanliness and condition of both your tablet and the Vacuum Dock. For the longest-lasting seal, you should wipe down your tablet occasionally. You should also clean the suction cup surface with soap and water.

    When we invented the first Vacuum Dock (to release with the Whale Kit), we wanted it to last eight hours -- or the length of a working day. As we improved our design, we got more ambitious. We wanted it to last 24 hours. Then we saw units that lasted three days or more!

    With the second generation of the Vacuum Dock, we've made a half-dozen part changes, and we are seeing suction lengths of up to eight days! Please keep in mind, however, that these results are based on test units. As the new Vacuum Dock will be released for the first time as part of the Monkey Kit, we've never got reports back from the field. We'd love for you to become one of our backers and then share your experience!

    Any Vacuum Dock that doesn't last at least 24 hours will be promptly replaced.

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  • The silver button on the Vacuum Dock pumps out the air between the dock and your tablet, creating a long-lasting, reliable seal. By using our dual-chamber pump system, the Vacuum Dock is able to hold onto your tablet more securely -- and longer -- than a normal suction cup. This is the same technology used in glass handling, allowing construction workers to lift pieces of glass that weigh hundreds of pounds high into the air.

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  • Located at the edge of the seal are two release tabs. Simply roll your thumb or forefinger underneath it while pushing the rubber up and away from your tablet. This will create a gap in the seal and will release the Vacuum Dock from your tablet.

    If it still won’t let go, try sliding the corner of a credit card between the Vacuum Dock and the iPad. This solution works every time.

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  • The MonkeyTail is three feet long.

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  • The MonkeyTail weighs just under one pound.

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  • The Octa t-shirt is available for women in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL.

    The Octa t-shirt is available for men in S, M, L, XL, 2XL, and 3XL.

    Octa prints its t-shirts on American Apparel 2001, which has a slim fit. It has a good amount of length in the shirt, but we recommend that backers who prefer a looser fit order one size up.

    Octa prints its t-shirts on American Apparel 2001, one of their most popular models. It's the go-to model for many independent t-shirt brands. Imagine a fine jersey 100% cotton shirt with just the right balance of softness and thickness. Mmm, comfort!

    We'll email you a questionnaire after the funding is complete, and we will ask for your size at that time.

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  • The Octa table is controlled by an app called Touch OSC, which runs on all iOS devices and costs $4.99. When you purchase an Octa table, our interactive media team will help you install your new table's driver. We'll email you a file, which will run using Touch OSC, and then we'll call you (on the phone or by Skype, according to your preference) to give you a tour of the controller.

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  • Of course! While Kickstarter's recent change in rules prevents us from offering a multi-unit discount pack, our backers are receiving between 20% and 30% off retail pricing on single units. (Go, early birds!)

    If you'd like to show super-strong support for the project and order more than one Monkey Kit, simply do the math! When we confirm your shipping address after the campaign ends (by email), we'll also confirm your order details.

    If you'd like to pre-order a distributor pack (highly advised), please email sales@octa.com.

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  • Just do the math! If you'd like, you can email ks@octa.com to confirm your reward selection. We'll send you an email re-confirming your details before we ship your rewards.

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  • Just hit the blue "Manage Your Pledge" button and adjust it there.

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  • Yes. We'll email you a questionnaire after the funding is complete, and we will ask for your shipping address at that time.

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  • Shipping is free (in the United States)!

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  • We'll gladly ship anywhere in the world. We've set shipping outside of the US at $40. Don't worry; no profit is made on shipping. We literally cannot find a lower-cost shipping option through the United States Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. We're even subsuming part of the handling costs (which go well above $40). We still think your Monkey Kit will be worth every penny!

    Here's the full list:

    One Monkey Kit:

    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $40
    • Canada: $20
    • Puerto Rico: $10

    One Ultra Kit:

    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $40
    • Canada: $20
    • Puerto Rico: $10

    Two Monkey Kits:

    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $55
    • South Africa: $65
    • Canada: $40
    • Puerto Rico: $20

    Two Ultra Kits:
    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $60
    • South Africa: $70
    • Canada: $45
    • Puerto Rico: $20

    Three Monkey Kits:
    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $65
    • South Africa: $75
    • Canada: $45
    • Puerto Rico: $20

    Three Ultra Kits:
    • International (all countries unless otherwise listed): $70
    • South Africa: $80
    • Canada: $50

    • Puerto Rico: $20

    Please feel free to email us with any questions! We'll try to respond within 48 hours.

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  • The track in our Kickstarter video is called Greenland and is being gratefully used with the permission of Emancipator. It appears on his album "Safe in the Steep Cliffs".

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  • A lot of people ask us this. The truth is: we'd rather manufacture in America. We'd love to communicate with our production managers in our native language, and it'd be great to visit our factory without flying 20+ hours! The jetlag is killer.

    Unfortunately, the cost of manufacturing our products in America is literally four times higher. We'd never be able to provide them to you at a reasonable price. Some of the components in our products are literally no longer made in America. As manufacturing jobs start to come back from overseas, we hope to move our production home as soon as possible.

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  • The $80 "early bird" pledge is designed as an incentive to give our earliest backers a little extra "thank you" discount off of the retail price. Initially, we've limited the $80 backer rewards to the first 300 units.

    The $90 backer reward represents a "thank you" to all our backers after the first 300. (The retail price will be $99.99 plus tax, so it's still a great incentive!)

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    9 backers

    OCTA MAGNET: includes the undying love of eight start-up entrepreneurs.

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    8 backers

    OCTA SPIRAL T-SHIRT: printed on American Apparel's softest 100% cotton fine jersey t-shirts.

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    806 backers

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Be the first to bring home your very own monkey. Monkey Kit includes one Vacuum Dock and one MonkeyTail in a retail-ready package. Retail MSRP will be $99.99.

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    28 backers

    TABLETTAIL: MONKEY KIT: Go bananas and help get the monkeys home! Monkey Kit includes one Vacuum Dock and one MonkeyTail in a retail-ready package. Retail MSRP will be $99.99.

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    145 backers

    TABLETTAIL: ULTRA KIT: Show your love on land and sea! Get one MonkeyTail, one WhaleTail, and one Vacuum Dock. Retail MSRP will be $120.00.

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    2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)

    LIMITED EDITION: RED/GOLD COLOR-SHIFTING MONKEY KIT: This package is part chameleon. Your kit includes one MonkeyTail and one color-shifting Vacuum Dock in Red/Gold. The glossy paint includes both red and gold pigments that shift in different lights, creating a fire-like effect. See video for more details.

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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    LIMITED EDITION: PURPLE/GREEN COLOR-SHIFTING MONKEY KIT: This monkey makes the peacocks jealous! Your kit includes one MonkeyTail and one color-shifting Vacuum Dock in Purple/Green. The glossy paint includes both purple and green pigments that shift in different lights. See video for more details.

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    17 backers Limited (83 left of 100)

    LIMITED EDITION: SPECTRUM COLOR-SHIFTING MONKEY KIT: This is a rare and magnificent creature! Your kit includes one MonkeyTail and one color-shifting Vacuum Dock in Spectrum. The silver-based pigment emits a rainbow of colors that shift in different lights. See video for more details

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    OCTA GALAXY LIGHT TABLE: This WiFi-controllable LED table is custom-made by Octa in the US. It features 21 lighting modes made by 320 high-brightness RGB LEDs. Its color, brightness, and pattern are all remotely-controlled via iOS devices. Its clear acrylic surface sits atop 64 cylindrical light chambers and a mirror-finished lower surface. Table is four feet in diameter, and its metal legs can be cut to custom heights.

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Funding period

- (45 days)