A year ago, Apple first offered the option to its MFI program partners to produce third-party Apple Watch charging accessories, several months after the Apple Watch was released. In that time, only a few docks and battery cases have been made, such as Belkin’s Valet charging dock or the ZENS Power Bank.
The Diskus is a Kickstarter project from ThanoTech that hopes to join this elite club of accessories, intending to be the first third-party Apple Watch charging cable approved through Apple’s official MFI program to go to market.
The first portable third-party Apple Watch charger
The biggest difference between Diskus and Apple's pack-in charger is the option for swapping out the cable. Instead of buying a charger in fixed lengths, the Diskus features a MicroUSB port (Apple rejected an earlier, Lightning-based design), where users can then plug in a Micro USB cable of whatever length they choose to charge their Apple Watches.
I had the chance to try out a working prototype of the Diskus, which looks like Apple’s own charger (specifically, the metal-cased version that’s included with the higher-end Watch model), but thicker to accommodate the Micro USB port. Aside from that detail, it functioned identically to a regular Apple Watch charger, in that it successfully charged my Apple Watch without any calamitous side effects.
The Diskus launches on Kickstarter today, and hopes to raise $55,000 in funding. ThanoTech has successfully ran a previous hardware Kickstarter and already sells smartphone charging cables, which coupled with their already functional prototypes should help reassure early supporters that the Diskus will actually ship. Backers can get a Diskus for $32 (compared to $29 for Apple’s own cables), expected to ship in October of this year, should funding goals be met.