Already smashing through the project’s funding goal of $19,000 on Kickstarter, the XiStera is a small, multipurpose tool that offers a bevy of useful functions to owners of the iPhone 5. Very similar to the design concept of a Leatherman multi-tool, the XiStera includes a capacitive stylus for precise touchscreen operation, two notches to prop up the iPhone 5 in landscape or portrait view, two mounting areas to attach the Apple smartphone to a tripod in landscape or portrait view, an area to wrap and store the iPhone earbuds and a lens adapter to attach a wide-angle, fisheye, telephoto or macro lens. There’s even a bottle opener for to crack open a frosty brew at a party.
In addition, the two mounting areas on the XiStera can be used for screwing in extra hardware to expand the tool’s core functionality. For instance, an attachment can be installed on the portrait mount in order to use the XiStera as a keychain. The creators of the XiStera, Joe Adams and Alex Werbickas, also have a version of the hardware that comes with a 32-LED light panel, specifically used for illuminating subjects when filming or taking photos.
Beyond those accessories, the creators are also selling a few different mounts that can be used on the windsheld or dashboard of a car as well as clamp onto a bike. All three of those mounts come with a stretchable material that wraps around the outside of the iPhone 5 to hold it in place. This would be ideal for rocky terrain when riding a mountain bike or when driving on a bumpy road.
Assuming the Kickstarter project hits the $30,000 mark in the next three weeks, the team plans to add multiple color options for the different types of lenses, the tip of the capacitive stylus and the band that wraps around the iPhone 5 on the mounts. Colors pictured on the Kickstarter page include red, yellow, green, orange, blue, teal, pink and gold.
One drawback to using the XiStera frequently is that the iPhone 5 will have to be removed from any protective case. The XiStera has been specifically designed to work with the iPhone 5 in standard factory condition. However, the team is considering a version that’s compatible with an iPhone 5 case of their choosing. XiStera users shouldn’t be worried about the tool scratching the slick finish of the iPhone 5. The interior of the XiStera is lined with a shiny, hard rubber that will lock the iPhone 5 safely into place and elminate the possibility of damage to the finish.
The creators have positioned the purchase price of the XiStera tool at $25. However, there are additional funding levels that include various camera lenses in addition to the previously mentioned lighting kit. Regarding project development, the team has already completed the design, created the prototype, tested the concept and engineered the final design. After the funding round closes in early June, the team will pay for tooling and injection molding with actual mass production starting between July and August 2013. As with all Kickstarter projects, be aware that manufacturing issues can delay the release of the product by weeks or even months depending on the severity of the problems.