Kickstart TurtleCell, an iPhone case with retractable headphones

| July 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

One of the funnier tweets I have seen recently: “How to tangle your headphones: Step 1) Put in pocket Step 2) Wait 5 minutes”. Funny cause it’s true!

TurtleCell, a Kickstarter project from two University of Michigan engineering students, aims to solve this problem. Instead of wrapping your headphones around your phone (which is not good for the longetivity of the cable), TurtleCell retracts the cable neatly back inside the TurtleCell case. In the photo below, you can see two white switches. The switch on the side is a locking mechanism used to set the cable at the desired length (up to 3m). The switch on the bottom is used to easily connect/disconnect the headphones from the 3.5mm headset jack. Pretty clever.

The best way I have found to keep my earbuds from tangling is to use a small clamshell case like this. It does the job – very well – but let’s be honest: it’s not the most elegant solution.



Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to the TurtleCell. The biggest problem is that the case is only compatible with the stock earbuds (which they claim would retail for ~$40 if sold separately). This is a dealbreaker for me, since I already have a bunch of in-ear headphones that I like. Maybe it can be modded to support third-party headphones, but I think the product would be 1000x more appealing to people if they could use their own headphones. Another problem is that as of now, the TurtleCell is only available for the iPhone 4/4s/5 and iPod Touch 5th Gen. I can’t fault them for this though – for a product like this, and with their limited resources as a start-up, it makes sense.

Still, it is a great product idea with boatloads of potential if they can pull it off.

So, are you in? Pre-order a TurtleCell through Kickstarter for $50. Funding ends August 4.

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Category: Accessories, News

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