March 3, 2014

Spotlight On: thingCHARGER!

Mobile Outfitters

Wireless thingCHARGER
There’s a clever invention that’s completely stolen the attention of the Clear-Coat office. It’s beautifully designed, incredibly useful, and raised nearly $650,000 in Indiegogo funding from excited people who can’t wait to get their hands on it. That obliterated the inventor’s original goal of $25,000 by twenty-six times.

And it’s a device charger.
Yes, really. But that’s a little like calling your laptop a great big calculator.

Introducing: thingCHARGER, the invention poised to completely revolutionize the way the world plugs things in.


What’s So Exciting About thingCHARGER?

In our day-to-day lives, we have an array of devices that need to be charged, all with different wires and hook ups. We’ve tried, and are still using, standard chargers (cords, galore); powerstrips (obtrusive); and wireless powermats (which, ironically, still have wires).

None are perfect. thingCHARGER might be the closest thing yet.

In its creator, Seymour Segnit’s own words, thingCHARGER is “the awesome new charger for all your things”. It transforms your wall outlet into a hub for charging every last device you own – all at once, if need be. And best of all, thingCHARGER is completely devoid of any wires. Devices charge on the interchangeable pins placed on the top – just grab the appropriate plug and slide it in.

Have a look for yourself!

Brilliant, Forward-Thinking Design

Despite the simplicity in design and functionality, Seymour doesn’t hide the fact that his company is working very hard on something that’s actually very difficult: being at the absolute top of its field.

Users don’t lose access to the outlets, as thingCHARGER retains them. Need to charge three phones at once? No problem –thingCHARGERs can be stacked on top of each other to offer more places to charge. There are even two USB ports along the bottom, just in case you haven’t quite given up your adaptors yet.

The product is a nearly invisible extension onto your wall outlet, plugging into twin outlets for stability. You can safely rest your iPad on top while it’s charging – just be careful to place the charger where it’s safe from kids, pets and wayward knees. But for as stable as it is, it’s not clunky; a flat design allows it to unobtrusively blend in to the wall and you can only even tell it’s there if you view it from the side.

And what about all those charging pins? In a stroke of genius, Seymour devised a storage system for the pins housed right in the device. When not in use, they slip in neatly into the back – right there when you need them, but out of sight when you don’t.

The company takes simplicity seriously, but doesn’t mind poking fun from time to time. For example, see the following helpful tutorial on how to install your thingCHARGER:
thingCHARGER Installation

The Birth of thingCHARGER

Before he came up with thingCHARGER, Seymour had a surprisingly diverse background. He’s been a radio host, worked as a professional development trainer, managed a software start-up and even held a position as an advertising executive. thingCHARGER marks his first foray into product development, and it certainly seems like a hit.

The idea for thingCHARGER came out of Seymour’s own frustrations in trying to keep his devices charged while keeping track of the myriad of adaptors and chargers he needed to do so. It was 2012 when his wife, Amy, gifted him a solar charger with various connectors, but after playing with it for a short time, it ended in frustration. Several other store-bought products just weren’t doing the trick, either. And so, what started as a simple need to solve a problem at home turned quickly into inspiration for a product.

Seymour soon took to his basement, gathering random materials from several other projects and blending them to create the very first thingCHARGER prototype.

He believed in the idea – but Seymour had brought ideas to friends and family before, and learned to discern nods of “sure, that’s great” from reactions of pure interest and excitement.

With thingCHARGER, everyone seemed genuinely excited. Seymour fondly remembers Amy’s reaction: “Yes, it would be great. Now shut up and do something about it.”

It was apparent from that moment that Seymour needed to make this a reality. Where to start?

“Trying to get to the top people with venture capitalists has never really been my thing,” says Seymour. “So we decided to give crowdfunding a shot. We set the Indiegogo budget at $25,000, reasoning that that was the amount of money we at least needed to say ‘game on, we’re doing this’.”

thingCHARGER surpassed that goal in 12 days. Game on, indeed. Time to make the leap from Seymour-tinkering-in-his-basement to a full-scale manufacturer.

When Can I Get a thingCHARGER (or Three)?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to sit tight for a little bit. The Indiegogo campaign raised money by offering its product as its perk; promising distribution as soon as it’s produced. Now, Seymour and team are working hard to make that happen. The target date for production falls in the latter half of 2014.

The good news is, you can still order! Despite its Indiegogo campaign coming to an end in January, thingCHARGER is still accepting contributions via its website from those that want to get in on the ground floor, with the same perks promised in the Indiegogo campaign. With all the demand, the need for capital hasn’t disappeared.

What’s Next for thingCHARGER?

thingCHARGER is currently working toward its second phase of development, in which new features will be added. A recent introduction was thingCHARGER + surge protection, something 1 in 5 contributors to the campaign requested. The company is also solidifying relationships with manufacturers, and considering licensing options for wider distribution.

From Seymour’s basement to Best Buy and Amazon? We wouldn’t be surprised.

We couldn’t be more excited to see Seymour and his team making it all happen. We wish you luck – and can’t wait to start using thingCHARGERs around the office!

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