Being based in Canada means that I’m often traveling for work, and that means fiddling with SIM cards. A new Kickstarter project from the same people who brought you the X-Wing joke campaign proposes to make keeping track of those SIMs and navigating international border-crossing much easier, with a simple design that adds a couple of simple twists to a basic low-profile iPhone case design.
Unlike the X-Wing squadron project, the SIMPLcase, as creators Simon Kwan and Ed Dean call their latest project, isn’t a joke. It’s a minimalist case (which adds just 3mm to the iPhone 5 at its thickest point) that houses a SIM tray capable of holding up to three SIMs (in addition to the one inside your phone) as well as an ejector tool. It also has a groove in the back which, combined with any credit, debit or ID card, helps transform it into a basic stand for propped-up portrait or landscape viewing.
The SIM and ejector tray is rubber to better grip those tiny fiddly components and make sure they don’t get lost, and the cases all ship with an ejector tool compatible with the iPhone in case you’ve misplaced your original (it’s remarkably easy to do). And while the initial project will be designed for iPhone 5, there also exists an iPhone 4/4S prototype, which the guys plan to put in production should there prove to be enough demand to justify it.
Ed and Simon know a thing or two about tripping around the world. They met working in the same shared office space in Shanghai, after growing up in London, England and Boston respectively. Both have ample experience in graphic design and product development, and first-hand knowledge of supply chain logistics, meaning they have the know-how to deliver on their project timeline of a June 2013 anticipated ship date.
Is there enough demand out there for an iPhone case aimed specifically at world travelers? That remains to be seen, but given that SIMPLcase is only looking for $20,000 in backer money, with pre-orders starting at just $12 and including free shipping anywhere in the world (cheaper than a lot of brand-name slim cases), I don’t think they’ll have that much trouble selling out the first batch, if only to satisfy the needs of people like me who perfectly fit the niche market they’re targeting.