updated 05:28 pm EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
System has days to go, and several thousand dollars is still needed
Historically, MacNN and Electronista have covered few, if any, in-progress crowd-sourced projects unless there was something unusual about them, like making 100x their goal. Starting this week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing any projects, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a prospective project, we're just pointing out something we found that we like. Please do your research before investing! That all said, our inaugural crowd-sourced project this week comes to us from Kickstarter -- the Pond Wireless Charging device for iPhone 5/5s, Android and Windows.
The charging project from Devant Technologies comes in three parts. The Pond and Pond Duo wireless charging valet tray are the centerpieces of the system, and the bases for the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi-compatible charging system. Each is equipped with a battery, allowing the tray to charge devices even when away from power. Devant is offering two different base stations, the Duo being the large enough to charge two devices to the standard Pebble's one.
Alongside the Pond is the Stream -- what the company calls the "only globally available Apple MFi-approved Qi wireless charging case for iPhone 5/5s." The case, available with wood backs or simple plastic, allows the inductive charging base to charge Apple's iPhone 5 or 5s -- no 5c model as far as we can tell.
A third aspect of the system is the Pond Pebble. The matchbook-sized dongle allows the charging of nearly any device that uses a micro-USB or Lightning connector. This allows for otherwise incompatible devices to use the Pond charging tray. Our only concern with this one is the need for stubby cables to maintain aesthetics. They can be had, but they don't seem to ship with the device.
Devant Technologies is funding manufacturing of the Pond wireless charging valet tray, Stream wireless charging case, and Pebble fobs through the Kickstarter platform in a campaign that ends on July 29. Products are expected to ship throughout the summer, with some rewards tiers shipping as early as this month. For the launch, the Pond and Pond Duo are available in maple, walnut, and black enamel. The Stream cases will also feature maple and walnut backings, in addition to the plastic black and white versions.
Kickstarter monitoring website Kicktraq believes that barring a last-minute push, the Pond will end its campaign just short at $28,882, with an average of $932 pledged per day.
Will the Pond make it to funding? That's for the Kickstarter faithful to decide. We at MacNN and Electronista like the Pebble for the combined approach of style and functionality that Devant Technologies takes for wireless charging. While many wireless charging options are purposefully built and ugly as sin, the Pond offers a solution that doesn't need to be tucked away. The Pebble adds to the value of the device, allowing a number of devices outside of the iPhone 5/5s to utilize it.