DL Byron, the Seattle entrepreneur behind such ventures as Clip-n-Seal and Bike Hugger, was struck with the idea for his latest product while trying to watch a movie on his iPhone 4 during a flight. After struggling to prop up the device at the proper angle, he came up with a solution.
“I had Clip-n-Seal with me and I went, aha!” he remembers. “I realized, if we took a Clip N Seal clamp, and we gave it a kickstand — a leg — and we wedged the phone in there, we were on to something.”
As it turns out, it wasn’t quite that easy. It took some considerable work by industrial designer Josh Buesseler to add the kickstand and make sure the clip could hold the phone at an appropriate angle, without conflicting with the viewing space. But they worked through the issues, and the result is the $4.99 Bikehugger Kickstand, available for pre-purchase now, and shipping in April from Amazon.com.
Steve Jobs would be proud of the ingenuity. Well, probably not, but it is a pretty easy fix for one of the iPhone 4′s most glaring omissions.
The Kickstand also has been shown to work with some other devices, including the Motorola Droid and Samsung Galaxy, although Byron isn’t making any compatibility promises beyond the iPhone 4. Be forewarned, as well, that the weight and mass of the iPhone 3GS make that device tricky to use horizontally in the Kickstand.
Byron says the Clip-n-Seal business itself is still chugging along nicely, finding new uses among everyone from quilters to oyster farmers. And now the Clip-n-Seal has spawned its very own consumer electronics accessory.
“A couple of people I’ve shown it to have spotted it was a Clip-n-Seal, but I don’t think if I told people they would make the connection,” he said. “We made a new thing from the old thing — just unbelievable, even to us.”