About this project
Have you ever tried using your new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro in bed, on your lap, or on the go? Even the slightest movement will cause the power cable to disconnect or stop charging.
I absolutely love my new MacBook Air, but became very frustrated by the new power cable. I never had a problem with the previous MacBooks. Searching on-line I found that many people complained about the new design.
If you leave anything near the power cable, you'll often find that your Mac isn’t charging. This is especially frustrating when leaving on a trip or going to a last-minute meeting, only to find that your battery is empty.
The Snuglet is a precision manufactured ring that lives inside your MagSafe 2 connector. It never needs to be removed and will not accidently fall out. It increases the magnetic connection and never interferes with insertion or removal of the power cable. It’s always there to keep you connected.
The Snuglet helps your power connector stay connected when you want it to, but releases when it should. The design still allows you to easily insert and remove the power cable, but simply makes it work better. It really feels perfect. Once you try it, I think you will agree!
The Snuglet can be removed using the removal tool included in the package. Snuglets are fully reusable and can be moved to a new computer when you upgrade. They are built to last, will never wear out and never need to be replaced.
The Snuglet is designed to work with all new MacBooks that have the MagSafe 2 connector. These include ALL MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display models purchased after June 2012.
The Snuglet has also been tested and is compatible with the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter.
DESIGN PROCESS & PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT:
I searched for answers far and wide and spoke to many “Geniuses”. No one had solutions except for not using my computer on my lap or in bed! This wasn’t a solution to me and I needed to find a REAL fix!
I consulted with Jerry Kuo, an expert in design and manufacturing and the founder of ONED. We tried many different ways of solving the problem. The connector’s weakness is only in the vertical direction, so our first designs attempted to prevent the connector from moving up or down.
The earliest design provided support to the top and bottom of the connector. This design wasn’t ideal because it prevented the screen on the computer from closing and could cause damage if not removed after each use. We later modified this design and removed the top support. Unfortunately, we then needed to add adhesives to make it work.
One of the main weaknesses of these early designs was that they needed to remain attached to the computer. We further refined the design by removing the top half entirely. This made it easier to attach to the power connector but was still far from ideal because it still required adhesives to attach to the computer. We then tried a design with a reusable sticky silicone pad to adhere to the bottom of the computer. This was far better than adhesives, but we felt it still wasn’t the best solution. There had to be a better way.
All of these designs initially used silicone or other types of plastic. We then decided to switch materials and started using aluminum and stainless steel to better match the design of the computer. Although the materials looked better, they scratched the finish on the computer.
While we were testing our metal prototypes, we found that the ones made of stainless steel were strongly attracted to the magnet inside the computer. This made us realize that perhaps we could design something that was completely internal. We found the thinnest samples of metal we could find and then machined them even thinner. It was difficult to work at such small scales because the metal would often break or fall apart.
Eventually we found the ideal combination of materials, dimensions and machining to craft a ring that is magnetically attracted to the computer’s internal magnet.
This ring worked perfectly, but was nearly impossible to remove. The magnet inside the MacBook is very strong and we needed to create a way that the ring could be removed. We first tried building a removal tool that used magnets to remove the Snuglet. These magnets needed to be very strong and made the tool too expensive to manufacture and dangerous for pets and children.
We finally solved this design challenge by machining two small notches on the sides the ring. We then designed and built a matching removal tool modeled after the iPhone SIM removal tool. The Snuglet was born!
The first time I used this simple ring design, even I was surprised by how well it worked.
The Snuglet makes your MacBook look, feel and work exactly how it SHOULD!
I’ve been using the prototype for over a month now and absolutely love it. I would never want to use my MacBook Air again without it. It is really the BEST solution and now I want to share it with the world!
With the Snuglet you can once again watch movies in bed, use your computer in your lap and always stay charged!
The Snuglet is now ready for production, but we need your funding and support to purchase the tooling and place the first order with the factory.
Backers will receive the Snuglet in a retail box similar to the hand-made prototypes shown below. These boxes will each contain two Snuglets and one removal tool.
We will use the funding from Kickstarter to purchase the tooling at the factory and place the first order for production. Since the Snuglet requires very precise machining and tight tolerances, this tooling is expensive. We will also place the order to manufacture the custom-designed and printed Snuglet boxes and shipping envelopes. Tooling, manufacturing, shipping, insurance and fulfillment are all quite expensive, even for small products.
MANUFACTURING AND FULFILLMENT:
We have already had three revisions of prototypes CNC manufactured using multiple factories. This allowed us to determine which factories could provide the best quality and reliability for long-term production. We have chosen the one we believe has the highest quality and will be able to meet our production capacity requirements.
Once the funding goal is reached, we are ready to begin final production. If the project is very successful and we have many backers, the factory can to produce over 5,000 Snuglets per month. To avoid any delays in shipping, the tooling order will be placed immediately after the Kickstarter campaign's funding goal is met. It will take 2 weeks for the tooling order to be completed and an additional 30 days for the production to the completed.
We expect to be able to ship the Snuglets within 60 days of meeting the funding goal and are confident that the product will be manufactured successfully and delivered on time. Jerry Kuo has many years of experience working with factories on much larger projects, so we’re relying on his expert guidance to keep the production on track.
After the products are manufactured, they will be packed into retail boxes at the same factory. They will then be sent via FedEx to the fulfillment company we have selected. The fulfillment company will pack the Snuglet boxes into individual shipping envelopes, add send them to our backers via the USPS.
We have applied for a patent on the design of the Snuglet and have also applied for a Trademark on the name Snuglet.
Apple, iPhone, MacBook, Macbook Air, MacBook Pro, Retina Display, MagSafe and MagSafe 2 are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. No endorsement is implied. All music & photos used on this page & within the video are fully licensed.
Risks and challenges
The main risk we see is in shipping delays or items being lost in transit. Everything will be insured, however delivery time would be increased since we would need to re-manufacture the items.
We have already used three different factories to create prototypes and believe we have selected the one with the best quality and reliability. The product design has been refined, tested and re-tested using prototypes, so we do not anticipate any further design changes.
If there are any problems with quality or delivery from the selected factory, we have a secondary manufacturing plan in place and will work with an alternate manufacturer. Jerry Kuo has been tasked with managing all issues with the factory. He is a seasoned veteran with over 16 years of experience in the accessory manufacturing industry and knows the process very well. He and I will closely monitor the production to ensure the highest quality control while maintaining our shipping schedule.
The other risk is in getting the word out so we meet our funding goal. It is difficult to know how well the Snuglet actually works until you’ve tried it. We’ll be sending prototypes to reviewers at popular websites for them to try. Please help to get the word out to make this campaign successful so we can all have Snuglets!
Since the Snuglet increases the strength of the magnetic attraction, use of this product may increase wear on the MagSafe 2 power cable and requires additional force to disconnect.
The Snuglet is very small. It should be kept away from small children and pets when not inside your computer.
Purchasers should understand and accept these risks before purchasing the Snuglet.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Snuglet works by extending the field around the edge of the MagSafe 2 connector. The port inside the computer contains a magnet, but the body of the computer is mainly aluminum and cannot transmit magnetism. Since magnetism can be temporarily transmitted by contact, the Snuglet acts as a carrier for the magnetic field. The solution was so unique that we’ve patented it.
We took great care in balancing the strength vs. release energy. This is especially challenging since there is such a small space to work inside and because of the varying weights of the different models. Different alloys and thicknesses provided very different physical and magnetic properties.
The Snuglet is designed to work with all new Apple MacBooks that have the MagSafe 2 connector. These include ALL MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display models purchased after June 2012.
The Snuglet has also been tested and is compatible with the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter.
Yes. The Snuglet has been tested with the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter and is fully compatible.
While the Snuglet might look simple, it actually requires very precise machining usually only reserved for things like rocket ships and aircraft engines. The Snuglet is machined to a tolerance of less than half the diameter of a human hair!
Apple uses precision manufacturing and tight tolerances for their connectors and we needed to match these dimensions exactly. Quality matters and we're only using the finest materials and highest precision methods of manufacturing.
We carefully studied the Apple MagSafe 2 connector and housing using a Scanning Electron Microscope to ensure we matched the materials exactly. Nothing was left to chance. We're using the same process for quality control on the finished product.
All our video & photography was done by Felix Eduardo. For media production, visit http://www.felixeduardo.com
You can purchase the Snuglet at http://www.snuglet.com
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