I've joked before about how Kickstarter seems to have a new type of wallet launched every other day or so, but it also seems to be trying to offer a reinvention for the other thing most people keep in their pockets: their keys. Here are three projects involving rethinking your keyring.
- First up is the Keyprop, a simple kickstand for your smartphone, that is shaped like a key and fits on your keyring. My current phone is an HTC Evo, which has a built in kickstand, and it's amazing how frequently I use it. I'd been dreading the eventual new phone without a kickstand, but there are a bunch of products on the market to make it easy to add a kickstand to your phone, including the keyprop -- which is a bit unique in that it uses the fact that you regularly carry your keys with you to its advantage. The design itself is fairly clever as well, as it uses either the headphone jack or the power port as the place where the keyprop hooks on, and then lets you use your other keys to help position the angle. The one downside: if you're using the headphone jack, you wouldn't be able to use the stand and your headphones at the same time.
The price feels a little on the high side for what it is -- and it kind of feels like the kind of thing that someone could make for themselves with a nice 3D printer. But still, the general idea is pretty cool. There are about three weeks left in the project, and it's only raised a little over a third of its goal, so it's probably right on the bubble of whether or not it will be able to hit its goal. In fact, Kicktraq's prediction is that it will just squeak by.
Next up we've got the Smartkey, which really does aim to reinvent the keychain by making it act more like a pocketknife. You connect your keys to the various posts on either side and can fold them in. Your keys then fit nicely together, with no more jingling or poking and whatnot. If you carry a lot of keys it seems like it could be pretty handy, though not sure it would be that helpful with bulky car keys -- and these days, that's really the only key I carry around.
While it might not be what I need, clearly over 2,000 people feel otherwise. The project shot way, way, way, way past its goal of $6,000 and will probably wrack up at least a couple of hundred thousand by the time the project ends.
- Okay, how about we take a step back from all of this futuristic high tech stuff, and get back to basics. What kind of keychain would you want during the zombie apocalypse? Probably something like El Jefe -- the Boss of Keychains. It seems like a no nonsense keychain that will hook to your belt buckle and has a bottle opener but that's nothing special. Lots of stuff has that. This one also has a ferrocerium rod built in, with a "fire scraper" so that you can start a fire very quickly. As they note, survivalists have pointed out that when society collapses and you need to survive, the most important skill will be able to set a fire. This keychain makes it easy. Can you say that about your keychain? Oh yeah, it also has a knife sharpener, because if you're in need of instant fire, you're probably also carrying around a knife, and you probably want it sharp. My favorite part, though, is that they compare this to a smartphone and call this a "smart keychain." I'm not sure they're really quite analogous, but they've got a fun video:
Not much time left to get in on this. It's already more than 3x its initial goal of $5,000, so El Jeffe is definitely getting funded. If you want one (or its smaller brother El Nino, with no belt loop hook) apparently now's your chance. And, if you get one, and civilization collapses, let me know, because I'll be sure to hang out with you, since my own fire starting skills are minimal.
Okay, now that we've solved your keychain needs, have a good weekend.