Sanho’s Hyper brand has brought us some pretty clever solutions to the shortcomings of today’s smartphones, laptops, and tablets for years now, including a sleek, charger-mounted USB-C hub for MacBooks and wireless charging for AirPods before that was cool. By comparison, their latest is a little bit derivative — but it could be a handy way to automatically back up your iOS or Android device when you plug it in at night.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before? And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.
The company’s new crowdfunded project is called the HyperCube, and it’s a USB dongle that lets your phone charger double as a storage device. Drop it into your charger, pop a microSD card, USB flash drive, or even an external hard drive into one of its full-size female USB ports, connect your charge cable into the other, and the app can (allegedly) back up your phone while it’s charging. It works with laptops as well.
While I say “allegedly” because it’s an unfinished Kickstarter product, I don’t seriously doubt the company’s claims. For one thing, Sanho isn’t some fly-by-night startup. It’s delivered on Kickstarter promises before, and there’s already a product on the market, the Maktar Qubii, that does much the same thing as the HyperCube. Sanho’s advantage is that second USB port for external drives, plus a discounted early adopter price of $30. But if you don’t need the second port and want to try the idea sooner, you can find the Qubii for $40 right now.
Here’s Sanho’s Kickstarter page if you’re interested. I’m pretty happy with the incredibly powerful HyperJuice battery pack I bought there last fall, though that one may not be the best on the market when all’s said and done.