Without a doubt, the iPod is one of the most influential inventions of our time. Not only can its influence be seen daily in the ears of joggers, bikers and gym rats, but also in the number of i-accessories currently flooding the market. Of course, not every product preceded with an “i” has been hailed as the “2008 Invention of the Year” – the honor recently bestowed upon the iStik.
The iStik fastening system provides the exercise crowd (a huge faction of iPod users) a handy way to secure an iPod in place anywhere on the body. For those individuals who find standard iPod belt clips and armbands bulky or uncomfortable, the iStik is a sterling example of i-ingenuity – so much so that the product took home the top prize in the San Diego Inventors Forum’s “2008 Invention of the Year” contest. Each iStik case comes with three pieces: a backing, faceplate and fastener. For use, an individual snaps the clear-plastic backing over the backside of an iPod and snaps the similarly designed faceplate over the iPod front; the user then places the fastener under his or her clothes in the spot where they want to secure the iPod (e.g. – near the collar, on the thigh, etc.). The four high-tech Neodymium magnets attached to the iStik fastener automatically secure via extreme magnetic force to the correlating magnets on the backing. As a result, the iPod remains securely in place even as a user runs, hikes, bikes or works out.
Though not specific to the active iPod user (anyone can use it beneficially at any time), the iStik was initially conceived during a weight-training session at the gym. Jeremy Huber, who developed the iStik with his wife and business partner Alissa, began to wonder: how can I hold my iPod nano and work out at the same time? With a little outside-the-box brainstorming, the inventors claim the idea for what is now the iStik came to life. After producing an inventory, they rented a booth at last March’s Los Angeles marathon where they sold all 400 iStiks they brought with them. More attention soon followed when Alissa Huber appeared on the CNBC show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” to talk about the product. After only a half of year of availability, the iStik has already racked up over $50,000 in sales – primarily from visitors to the iStik Web site.
But, with the product quickly gaining ground, the inventors aren’t resting on their laurels. They continue marketing the iStik - seemingly thinking of every concern that could cross the mind of a potential customer. Realizing many people may fear what kind of crazy effects ultra-strong magnets can have on an iPod, the inventors clearly note on their Web site that iPods do not have hard drives (it’s a flash-drive based device) so there are no moving parts to be effected by the magnets. For further reassurance, they brought in an electrical engineer to perform extensive tests on the iStik, whick confirmed its safety. And, though the forces of the iStik magnets are extremely strong, the inventors do recommend users place only a thin, single layer of clothing between them. Finally, in case a person loses a fastener, new ones can be purchased stand-alone from the iStik Web site for $9.99. Next up, the Hubers will promote the iStik at both the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the MacWorld Conference & Expo in January.
iStiks cases for 2nd and 3rd generation iPods are currently available for purchase from the iStik online store (for $19.95 and $26.95) - with cases for the iPhone and iPod touch coming soon.