Minimalist WalletsOne of the most common design projects is the minimalist wallet. These wallets typically only carry cards and cash, with each claiming to be the thinnest and lightest. I heard that in the U.S., it's possible to survive with only cards and no cash, which I guess is how these wallets can be so popular. I can't survive without cash, though.
The odd thing is, these wallets are very similar, and very simple - 2 pieces of solid card-shaped material (wood/carbon fiber/steel/aluminium/titanium) and an elastic band. I don't understand how these can be so popular - how are they different from just putting a rubber band around your cards? They're also inconvenient - you have to take out all your cards and cash to search for something. I have a good mind to start my own project selling rubber bands as minimalist wallets.
Key HoldersThese seem a bit more useful. I first head of the Keyport, an organiser that holds up to 6 keys and slides them out. You can also substitute tools for the keys, e.g. USB flash drive, torch, bottle opener.
I thought this type of product would be useful, so I looked at the projects on Kickstarter. But they all had their problems.
My first choice was the Keyz, because it's:
- made of steel, especially the screws
- got thinner, custom screws
- got wave washers to keep tension on the keys and prevent loosening
- size adjusts to accommodate how many keys you have
- poor finish
- screws breaking! Those custom-made, extra strong screws!
- feels poor quality, not worth the money
- USB drive not working (I wasn't going to get one anyway)
Ok so my next choice was the KeySmart (to be honest, Keyz looks a lot like the KeySmart). This was much cheaper - $15 for the normal one, and the titanium one costs only $39! Again, looking at the comments:
- keys not fitting
- loosening (a serious problem)
- major problems with the USB drive
I guess the lesson to learn from this is, although Kickstarter products are new and reviews are rare, always read the comments for honest feedback - especially if you're considering buying the item after the funding period has ended and the item has shipped. A lot of projects that look good on the surface actually turn out quite different, even those with huge fundings (1000%). It looks like the reality is usually not as rosy as the main page paints. Actually, I funded a project that had a reward due in August 2013, and I still haven't got it yet. I'm just glad my PortPilot Pro turned out excellently, relatively speaking.