Forget iPhone Armbands
If you’re reading this, chances are you clicked on the About CarpeMuse Project link on the site and already understand why CarpeMuse is better than any armband. You’re already aware that it rests snuggly on your hip providing minimal movement when running or lifting and allows you to comfortably view the screen on your side rather than trying to stare at the side of your arm.
- CarpeMuse is able to provide superior comfort because it rests on the waistband so it fits everyone just as well.
- Neodymium magnets within the front and back interface create a near unbreakable grip on your side while moving.
- Custom sized pocket and clear screen allow for full interaction with the phone.
Here’s a bit more about the design process of CarpeMuse and the decision to not launch this product for the iPhone5.
The CarpeMuse project helped me learn what I like doing, and got me the experience that landed me a job in the consumer tech world which is why I don’t regret not launching.
The hardest part of finishing something is not the inherent work of completing the tasks, but the constant desire to continue adding and improving. In the last 3 years of not working on the project I still hadn’t put a landing page together showcasing the design and product. I’ve thought of ways to create a completely universal holder just as elegant, but at the end of the day needed to get something out there to show what had been built. As Steven Pressfield puts it best in The War of Art (audiobook as well) resistance is the greatest enemy.
About the Design Process
From 2008–2013 I designed and built an iPhone5 exercise holder called the CarpeMuse holster. Throughout the 5 years I worked on this project on and off. In 2008–2009 I went through physical therapy for a wrestling injury and had a pair of red athletic shorts I used during my weekly PT sessions with a stretchable pocket for keys that fit my iPod perfectly. That is when I began designing a universal pocket embedded into shorts to fit a number of devices. That pocket evolved into the CarpeMuse holster specifically for the iPhone5.
The first version I pitched I spent two weeks skipping my business classes in order to hack together a workable prototype using with my mom’s old sewing machine.
Fast forward to 2012, I was able to work with my room mate, a mechanical engineer on the technical specs, 3D printing parts, and fabrication. Then, I spent many days sneaking into machine shops to build the custom components. Another then classmate Sahiba Malhotra, along with a professional designer from a Maryland based athletic clothing performance company assisted by taking the designs and parts and turning them into an incredible consumer quality product.
Working on this project on/off for 4 years of college was a valuable lesson in teaching me about the creative process of designing, engineering, building, and testing a product. I knew I loved building things and wanted to acquire a software related skill that would allow me to build concepts faster than what I had been doing with the physical prototypes. Spring of my senior year I researched coding bootcamps in NYC, Chicago, and SF. Luckily, 3 weeks before my college graduation I received an offer from Google and knew I’d have unlimited access to resources to build up a software skill.
I never ended up taking orders or launching a Kickstarter campaign for the CarpeMuse holster.
The reasons not to launch:
- Ever-changing smartphone specs requiring consistent design change which means you need a full team in order to crank out multiple prototypes a week rather than one a month.
- Growing trend in 2013 of larger smartphones/phablets which would not bode well sitting on the hip.
- Manufacturers’ requirement of 1,000 units in order to provide a sample of how well they could build my consumer quality prototype.
- My interest in learning how to code and design products in general, rather than an inherent interest in smartphone holders.
Thank you to all of the above mentioned who helped me build my 13 prototypes, to the Hinman CEOs program who provided resources in prototyping the final versions of the holster, and to Taras at HappyUsers who helped me put together amazing 3D renderings.