Keeping your iPhone fully powered is a pain, especially if you like running a lot of battery draining apps. Mophie’s popular cases can hold a charge forever, but they are bulky. Separate battery cases are more lightweight, but they usually attach with a cord and dangle awkwardly from your phone like a placenta attached to an umbilical cord. A startup called Rubix wants to make charging phones less cumbersome with AUGMENT, a set with a charging module that snaps securely onto a matching iPhone case without a cable.
Now on Kickstarter, AUGMENT is just $1,000 away from its $17,000 goal with 28 days left to go. The campaign price for the full AUGMENT case and charger set costs $45, or the two pieces can be purchased separately. AUGMENT’s estimated ship date for backers is this August.
AUGMENT’s charging module weighs just 38g and has an 1200mAh battery that holds 60% of an iPhone’s full power. The case has a hard polycarbonate inner layer encased in soft thermoplastic polyurethane that makes it more comfortable to hold and also ensures that your iPhone can be easily removed. AUGMENT’s battery and your iPhone can be recharged at the same time.
The set was created by Will Matters, an Australian industrial designer who is currently based in Hong Kong. In addition to being a stylish change from most iPhone cases, AUGMENT’s square design also allows the charger to mount securely, which means it won’t fall off while you are using it. The section of the case that surrounds the camera lens is black to avoid affecting the color balance of photos. Matters has more details about AUGMENT’s design process in this detailed blog post.
“Similar to Google’s Project Ara, we designed AUGMENT on the concept that not everything each person needs from a smartphone can be fit into single package. However, we designed this system to ‘augment’ and enhance your existing smartphone by adding features, rather than just reconfigure it,” Matters told TechCrunch in an email.
“We also wanted it to be as easy as possible for the user, which is why we chose a minimal aesthetic and Lego-like functionality.” AUGMENT’s modular design also means that Rubix will be able to create other matching snap-on iPhone accessories in the future.
AUGMENT has already received approval from Apple for its Made for iPhone (MFi) plan, which means it should receive final certification as soon as it reaches its Kickstarter goal. For more details, check out AUGMENT’s campaign page.