Kickstarter Project – The Cosmonaut: A Wide-Grip Stylus for Touch Screens

Last year before everyone was using Kickstarter, a new iPhone accessory showed up on the site and was a phenomenal success. It was "The Glif" - a tripod mount / stand. We've covered it's rise to popularity here on MacStories. The creators of The Glif, Dan Provost and Thomas Gerhardt, are back with a new project, named The Cosmonaut.

The Cosmonaut is a minimal, wide-grip capacitive stylus for touch screen devices (not just the iPad). They modeled this new product after a dry-erase marker since it makes more sense on an iPad than a small stylus that people use on smartphones.

Video after the break.

Dan and Thomas use their iPads for many different applications and the iPad is more like a dry-erase board than a PDA. They tested many different stylus and they all had the same result: they are designed to feel like a pen or pencil and don't feel right with a large touch screen device. They also say tablets are ideal for low fidelity sketching and it's awkward to rest your palm on the screen. Dan posted on The Russions Used A Pencil about this very idea right after they ended The Glif campaign; many people were interested so they decided to start designing a solution.

Besides trying this different Kickstarter campaign, they are also trying a different - and only one - pricing tier: $1. It's a "pay-as-you-wish" method, and you can pledge whatever you want to contribute to the project. But there are some things to know before only pledging $1:

  • There are only 3000 pledging slots available. So, if everyone only pledges $1, the funding goal of $50,000 will obviously not be met.
  • The funding goal of $50,000 was arrived at after getting quotes from our manufacturer (in the USA).
  • If we meet our funding goal (which would be awesome!) it means we will be able to sell the Cosmonaut in our online store later on. We are thinking it will retail for $25. Perhaps this price can be used as a guide for your own contribution.
  • Get them while they’re hot! Once the 3000 slots run out, you won’t be able to get a Cosmonaut until they become available in our online store. Consider it a limited edition run to test the feasibility of a full scale run.
  • Based on the timetable our manufacturer gave us, we should begin shipping the Cosmonauts in June.
  • There are two prototypes featured in the video above: a "look and feel" prototype and a functional prototype. We are continuing to refine / improve the design (including the tip) but the final design will have that same form and spirit of the prototypes.
  • The Cosmonaut is compatible with any capacitive touch screen device. Eg. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, etc.

So far, The Cosmonaut has 194 (and counting) backers for a total of $2,819; there are 22 days to go and this is another excellent, well thought out idea. So if you want to help these guys make their goal, please consider contributing but read the info above and consider more than just a dollar.

UPDATE: In the 30 minutes since starting this post, the total has increased to over 300 backers and a total of $4500!