About this project
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
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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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