Home / Kickstarter / Kickstarter: iLanyard: Keeping earbuds under control

Kickstarter: iLanyard: Keeping earbuds under control

The ilanyard Strap is something that every runner should invest in.

 

Like a sunglasses lanyard for your earbuds

The idea for iLanyard™ came when thinking about how similarly we use our sunglasses and our earbuds. Sunglasses lanyards are useful because, when you go indoors and you want to just take your sunglasses off for a few minutes. With a lanyard you can just let them hang conveniently around your neck until you go back outside.

Similarly with earbuds, sometimes we need to remove our earbuds for just a few minutes to, say, order a cup of coffee or have a brief chat with a friend. iLanyard™ makes these moments convenient and manageable.

Sometimes “wearable technology” is about making existing technology more convenient to wear.

Doubles as a cord wrap

One of the biggest challenges of earbud cords is how to keep them untangled when you don’t need them. Most cord wraps will permanently kink your cord and turn it into an ugly mess. Earbud cases just add one more thing you have to carry around in addition to your earbuds.

Now you just wrap your earbud cord around your fingers and then use iLanyard™ to tie it up into a neat package. It even leaves you a nice loop so you can hang your earbuds in a convenient location.

Great for runners!

If you listen to music when out on your daily run you certainly know about “runner’s tug.” It’s that annoying sensation of the bouncing cord yanking on your ears with each stride. iLanyard™ allows you to isolate the weight of lower cord from the earbuds themselves by transferring it to the lanyard around your neck.

Easy to attach

Your earbud cord pops easily onto the two ends of iLanyard™ and holds your cord securely in place. Equally important, iLanyard™ will easily release from your earbud cord on the off chance it becomes entangled.

Fits nearly all round earbud cords

Nearly all round earbud cords are about same size. The diameter differences between earbud cord brands is very small and easily accommodated by the durometer (firmness) of both the grip end of iLanyard™ and the durometer of the cord itself. This allows iLanyard™ to fit nearly all major brands of round earbud cords on the market.

Product Development process

We’ve been through several variations on this concept before coming to the current version. Originally we were going to use a flat webbing instead of a cord, and we created this end grip design.

We felt this was going to be less comfortable and too bulky to wear around your neck and decided to move to a round cord design. We then explored a variety of ways to angle the cord attachment relative to the cord end.

The second design below was an attempt to add some detail and texture to the end grip in order to create a more compelling design aesthetic. This presented some push back from the factory due to molding challenges for such a small part.

We did an initial prototype based on this design. This is a high resolution 3D print of the CAD files.

This is what lead us to the anodized aluminum cuff design. This gave us the level of aesthetics we wanted and simplified the molding process for the factory.

We also moved away from the angled design since, after using the previous prototype, we found that this aspect was not necessary. Below is an imaged we used to help explain to the factory how we wanted to do the molding process.

Materials:

  • UV resistant nylon parachute cord
  • Anodized aluminum cuff
  • TPR (thermoplastic rubber) earbud cord grips

Development and Production Schedule

We’re really in the very last phase of bringing this product to market. All the hard work is done and now we’re just starting tooling. As soon as the tooling is done then we can start production. Usually production takes 4-6 weeks depending on how much other work is going through the factory at that time.

Patent Pending

iLanyard™ is a patent pending concept.

Why we need your help.

We’re already into the tooling process for this product. Our bigger challenge is bringing in an initial production run so that we can start promoting product to retailers. For each unit we bring in for Kickstarter rewards, we want to also bring in 2 or 3 more units for inventory. This gets us over the initial hump for selling product without having to rely on expensive factoring. (Factoring is a process of financing secured by customer invoices that can sometimes cut deep into profitability.)

We believe iLanyard™ will be a big hit in retail stores. With your help we can get that initial boost to get us out of the starting gate.

Below is the packaging we’ve designed in-house for retail sales, and we think it’s pretty good. If funding goes higher we would like to hire an outside packaging design firm to help us up our game.

First 8 color combinations

This is just an Illustrator mockup of the first 8 color combinations we’ll offer. We’ll have 8 different cord colors, match those up with 4 anodized cuff colors (red, blue, purple and silver), and also match up the grip colors with either black or white TPR.

Special thanks…

Thanks to my friend Joe Urich who has donated so much of his time to help us develop the design and 3D files. Joe formerly worked as a product designer for InCase and now works for Marmot Design.

Thanks to Harry Yuan for his talented video work. Harry does a lot of Kickstarter videos. Be sure to check out Harry’s other work.

Also, thanks to Jason Miller for lending us his voice-over talents for the video. My English isn’t great, so Jason’s voice helped to lend a sense of professionalism. Jason is a flying instructor in the SF area and runs an online training site called The Finer Points.

Thanks Kickstarter!!

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

 

We already have a trusted factory tooling up this product. By the time this Kickstarter campaign ends we should be ready to start running production.

There could be delays if we have a large number of backers for this project while we cut additional tools for production. There could also be some challenges with regards to color matching between the nylon cords and anodized aluminum cuffs. We will endeavor to address all potential problems before production begins so that we can ship product as soon as possible.

We believe the July ship date gives us a healthy margin of error and hope to ship earlier.

About boaks

Ben is the Editor-In-Chief for Gizmofusion, I am also the owner of Cerebral-overload.com and the Verizon Wireless Reviewer for Techburgh.com. Ben’s love of gadgets came from his lack of a Nintendo Game Boy when he was a child . Ben vowed from that day on to get his hands on as many tech products as possible. Ben’s approach to a review is to make it informative for the technofile while still making it understandable to everyone. Ben is a new voice in the tech industry and is looking to make a mark wherever he goes. When not reviewing products, Ben is also a 911 Telecommunicator just outside of Pittsburgh PA.

Twitter: @gizmoboaks
Hangouts: Beavercountyemt
Skype: Ben.Oaks

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