SlimClip Case for the iPhone (see rewards for more on GALAXY) is the first product from the Wonderful Things Factory (theWTFactory).
I planned to purchase the new iPhone 5 in mid 2012, which, of course, meant that I was in the market for a new phone case. Although I had a case or two – okay, three – for my iPhone 4S, I honestly didn’t like any of them particularly well. The cases were either too plain and utilitarian or too bulky and complicated to compliment the beautiful modern simplicity of the iPhone design.
Around the same time, I decided to join a gym, which for me meant that I would be using my phone for music much more often. (I had always worked out at home before, using the TV for entertainment.) I thought I would just get a simple, modern iPhone case with a clip. Easy enough, right? Not exactly.
I searched and searched and then searched some more, but all I could find were bulky, HUGE clip cases for smartphones. Then, as I kept searching, I realized that people were holding their phones in their hands while running; tucking their smartphones into their shorts while biking; leaving their phones on the floor or on a shelf in the gym while working out. I also noticed that people who were otherwise really fashionably dressed had bulky, utilitarian smartphone cases clipped at their side.
The SlimClip Case! What is SlimClip? A minimal, modern iPhone case with a barely-there integrated clip.
The SlimClip Case...
How to SlimClip? I use my SlimClip case while running, biking, and working out at the gym, as well as to “de-bulk” my pockets. My wife uses her SlimClip case while exercising and – this is big – I noticed that she clips it inside her purse so she doesn’t have to search (and search) for her phone. No more “Sorry I missed your call; I couldn’t find my phone in my bag.”
Total thickness of phone+SlimClip case is only 10mm! (iPhone without case is 7.6mm thick.)
For Kickstarters who pledge $55 or more, theWTFactory will ship the SlimClip Case for iPhone with the SlimClip Square. The SlimClip Square is an accessory for the SlimClip Case that allows you to clip your SlimClip Case to (almost) anything.
Clip it to watch YouTube, videos, or TV!
Clip it to FaceTime or Skype!
Clip it to make videos or take time-delayed or time lapse photos!
Clip it for (almost) any reason you like!
theWTFactory on your Chest
Be a champion for theWTFactory (or just think the T-shirt is cool), your choice of size just choose the corresponding reward level and we'll thank you with this cool T-shirt!
The Story (Extended Version).....
This is me - Keith Hall
This is also me. I'm a Thinker, Dad, Husband, and Product Designer.
July 2012 - I decided to upgrade my iPhone, and around the same time, I joined a gym. I thought, "Man, it would be great to have a slim, modern, minimal iPhone case with a clip. That way I can put it in my pocket when I want; take it out and clip it to my waist when I'm at the gym or on a run; clip it to my belt when I want to lighten up my pockets; and my iPhone will still look way cool."
I searched both in stores and online for a slim, minimal iPhone case with a clip.
That did not go well. All I could find were bulky, utilitarian cases that didn't compliment the iPhone. Then I realized that if I want this slim modern case with an integrated clip I just might have to make it! Maybe other people might want one too?
September 2012 - I started sketching out ideas, then eureka! I had the idea for the solution: a barely there integrated clip, one where the case itself is the clip. To make the design complement the iPhone the case needed subtle texture and molded button control for a minimal modern look and feel.
October 2012 - In order to take the next step toward manufacturing I needed to hire an industrial engineer. Back to the search, but this time my search went better....much better.
I found an excellent Industrial Engineer
The engineer put my design into buildable and measurable units to facilitate the manufacturing process.
December 2012 - We used the 3D CAD files to order a 3D printed prototype to test and whether my design actually works on a real live iPhone.
But it still needs some work......
January to February 2013 - We end up ordering a few more rounds of 3D printed prototypes, each with an adjustment here and there. We adjusted the button placement, the pliability of the case, the length of the slot separation in the case, the camera fenestration size and shape, the height of the sides of the case, etc, etc.....
March 2013 - Finally, we sent the prototypes and the design to a some factories. The factories we initially found didn't find the SlimClip Case very simple to manufacture. The texture, subtle details of the design, and the varying pliability of the plastic that allow the case to be slim, yet clip is NOT an easy problem to solve.
April 2013- Eventually, we found a quality manufacturer that could execute the design! They built the mold, they adjusted the mold, adjusted it again, and again, and again, until.....it was perfect.
End of April - We received a manufacturer prototype.
Wow! It works so well, looks and feels so good, we almost can't believe it.
May 2013 - I ordered a first run sample of several different colors. Some of them work out well, other's not so much. In the end, I decided on five colors with gray (black for the grey case) as an accent color for the logo and the camera rim (the accent color also serves to prevent the camera flash from picking up the case color in photos).
The packaging design prototype is completed and.....
We are READY to be KICKSTARTED!
Funds raised on Kickstarter will be used to purchase the mold and first run of production for the iPhone 4/4S SlimClip Cases, the first full run of production for the iPhone 5 SlimClip Cases and the initial packaging orders.