Sunnyvale, California – How did a “galaxy far, far away” inspire California-based technology company IPEVO’s newest product idea? We might not be able to communicate with 3D holograms as they do in the Star Wars movies, but smartphone video conferencing is here to stay, and it led to IPEVO’s first Kickstarter project.

For Royce Hong, CEO and Big Head of Design of IPEVO, family comes first. And when he saw a chance to improve on the iPhone video conferences he enjoyed with his wife and daughter, he put his tech design skills to work. The result was the IPEVO Video Stand for iPhone, a concept which has been put forward as IPEVO’s first Kickstarter. The goal is to raise $30,000 in a period of 30 days, which will go toward further testing and development along with an initial manufacturing run for the stand.

“I use the Facetime app on iPhone to interact with my wife, Grace, and our baby girl, Roxi,” explained Royce. “While the idea behind the technology is great, the end result is not so great. Shaky, jarring, poorly-framed video is the most common result, a situation which only gets worse when an energetic baby is part of the equation. The best tech products develop as responses to everyday problems, and I knew I had to roll up my sleeves and discover a solution.”

In pursuit of such a solution, Royce found inspiration in a sci-fi classic: the AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) “chicken” walker from the original Star Wars trilogy. “I grew up on Star Wars and love to collect the memorabilia,” said Royce. “When I saw my AT-ST scale model in the corner, I couldn’t help but experiment. A few busted rubber bands later, I managed to strap my iPhone to the head of the AT-ST walker and I used it like a stand. A new accessory was born.”

Royce then relied on his previous experience designing IPEVO’s trademark line of USB document cameras. These cameras feature multi-jointed swing-arms which allow the camera body to be positioned at a wide variety of heights and angles. “Our cameras were developed to give users hand-free versatility and convenience for image capture,” said Royce. “I figured a similar design core was the right place to start.”

The idea went from rounds of sketches and computer-drafted designs to a series of rough prototypes. “It was often a case of ‘two steps forward, one step back,'” explained Royce. “But now we feel we’re on the precipice of the best video stand in the market. Each detail, from the tuning of the joints to the petal cradle which holds the phone, is almost perfect.”

IPEVO has now turned the product over to the Kickstarter community for the final push to completion. The company is offering a five-tier rewards system, including one black video stand with a $49 pledge and a special limited-edition white video stand with a $69 or more pledge. These white units are strictly limited to 150 and will not be part of future production runs.

“Making time for family is so important in our busy modern lives,” said Royce. “I’m excited to involve other families on Kickstarter as we create a handy accessory to make family time more enjoyable.” As for the suggestion that Royce is prepared to use Jedi mind tricks to get pledges? “The product speaks for itself. No mind tricks needed.”

AT-ST Video Stand for iPhone

IPEVO designs and sells innovative products to enrich today’s connected lifestyle. We recognize the immense potential of new technologies to help people create, teach, learn, and inspire. From classroom to living room to conference room, IPEVO is dedicated to making technology more available, accessible, and affordable for all. Copyright (C) 2013 IPEVO. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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