The update cycle of consumer electronics can make a mess of your Kickstarter plans, but one new project that just launched is designed to provide a useful products that remains useful no matter what changes come down the road, in terms of modes of connectivity or hardware design. It’s the CompleteDock, and I had the chance to sneak a peek at an early, functional prototype at Disrupt SF this year.
I noticed it at a booth for a cloud services startup, and was immediately intrigued by its solid aluminum construction. It looked like a dock that was immovable, implacable, and designed to stand the test of time. And after going in for a closer look, it turns out that’s exactly what it was, but also with a unique, modal twist that means it can be used with just about any gadget out there.
Here’s how it works: The CompleteDock’s business end (where it gets connected to its data/power cable) is swappable, meaning you can change it out for a 30-pin dock connector to USB cable, micro-USB, or an Apple iPhone 5 Lightning connector. These will be available to purchase separately in case you buy new devices, but there’s also another wonderful benefit for backers: The first change is free. Meaning when you change devices initially, you’re covered.
There’s also a support that can switch out to accommodate different devices and different angles, and both a mini and full-sized version, depending on your needs, but for my money the regular version looks great with either tablets or smartphones.
The best part? This is already a real device, which I saw, and handled in person thanks to project founder Gligor Dacevski. The company has a manufacturing facility with CNC machines ready to pump them out. Compared to a lot of projects I’ve backed, they’re way ahead of the game, and actually stand a fair chance of hitting their December 2012 ship date.
I actually miss using my iPhone 4S dock, and I haven’t found a suitable replacement. The Elevation Dock looks promising, especially with its upcoming iPhone 5 compatibility update, but the CompleteDock is more multi-purpose, and seems sturdier, too. Plus, this may be naive, but I’m hoping this is the last dock I’ll ever buy.