PopSockets is an iPhone case with expanding buttons for propping, gaming, holstering, headset management, and looking good.
The case has two expanding sockets that function as a kickstand, a headset management system, a pocketless clip, a gaming cradle, a shoulder stand, and a one-hand stand. The sockets are replaceable and come in a range of designs, so it’s easy and fun to control the look of the case. (more photos after the jump…)
PopSockets is one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. This is your chance to check out how PopSockets work and see a wild variety of other amazing innovations!
What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?
I removed a tangled knot of headset cord from my pocket for the umpteenth time and headed to Joanne’s Fabric to find the materials to build myself a solution to the problem.
After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
How did you go about naming your product?
I struggled for months to come up with the right name through many brainstorming sessions with my friends followed by surveys that I would give to my CU-Boulder students after class (I’m a philosophy professor at CU).
How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?
I built my first prototype the same day I had my initial idea. The prototype consisted of two huge clothing buttons glued to the back of my smartphone (on a piece of clear tape, for ease of removal) with very small buttons as spacers. I then wrapped my headset neatly around these buttons. The current invention is the result of several major improvements to the original design that allow for a broad range of additional functionality and a sleek look when the buttons are not in use.
Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?
I raised $18,500 with a Kickstarter campaign, but that barely touches the surface of the expenses I’ve had so far. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have my house burn down in the Four Mile Fire two years ago, and I used much of my insurance money for the lost contents of my house to start the PopSockets business.
Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? And if so, who?
I will produce and sell it myself.
What all channels are you using to market your product?
Until the product is available for sale, I’m only using Facebook, Twitter, and Kickstarter.
How many people do you currently have involved in your business?
Two, including myself.
How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?
Success will be getting PopSockets to market and making a profit after all of my start-up expenses are recouped. A home run will be several million dollars or more in profit within launching the product.
Where do people go to find out more about your product?