Apple's AirPods — like many truly wireless headphones — need to be recharged fairly often. This is typically done through the included case, which charges your headphones while you store them in it. PodCase is a new Kickstarter project from former Pebble creator Eric Migicovsky that aims to make that process a little easier by directly integrating an AirPod charger into an iPhone case.
Nova Technology — the name of Migicovsky's new venture — bills PodCase as a "slim case for carrying and charging your iPhone and AirPods," which is partly true. It certainly is a case that charges and stores your iPhone and AirPods, but the word "slim" is stretching it. The incredibly clunky-looking protrusion toward the top of the case sticks up over the top of the phone to hold the AirPods. Nothing better illustrates this point than the image on the Kickstarter page showing the case almost fitting into a pocket.
As mentioned earlier, the PodCase doesn't just store the AirPods, unlike other earlier Kickstarter attempts at similar cases. It also includes a 2,500mAh internal battery, which the company claims is enough for a full charge for your iPhone or up to 40 AirPod charges. The case itself charges over USB-C, which is nice to see, considering a surprising number of new products still refuse to embrace the new port standard.
The PodCase is set to release in two sizes: one for the iPhone 7 and one for the 7 Plus, with plans for an iPhone 8 version further down the line.
PodCase is being developed by a small but fairly experienced team — at least when it comes to Kickstarter. Along with Migicovsky, there's Steve Johns, one of the leading industrial designers at Pebble, and Allan Evans, the co-founder of Avagant. The project is described by Migicovsky as the first in a series of products that represent a new direction for him, post-Pebble. It’s one that focuses on smaller products, rather than the idea that every idea has to lead to a big company. (And, after the tumultuous rise and fall of Pebble, that makes sense.)
That said, PodCase is still a crowdfunded project, and if Pebble is proof of anything, it's that even the most established crowdfunded projects can meet disaster in an instant. As always, use your best judgement before deciding to back.
The PodCase costs $79 as an early-bird price on Kickstarter; it will go up to $89 once those sell out. The company plans to ship in February 2018, after which point it hopes to sell the PodCase at retail for $99.