How It All Started
The iPad overheating was first brought to my attention back in 2013 when a sports scientist approached me and needed a solution to cool down his iPad when he used it in the sun. I designed a proof of concept and a prototype and showed that an iPad case with fans and cooling channels was likely the simplest and most effective solution.
Read more about that design and testing here: Designing An iPad Cooling Case.
[If you are just interested in finding out how to get an iPad cooling case for beta testing or want to be notified when it is available, feel free to skip to the last part: here]
Putting it aside
At that time, I thought that an iPad cooling case was probably a product only a handful of people in the world would want. Few people (in my opinion) would use their iPad to the extent of overheating and even if it did they might give it a rest or move it to the shade assuming it was in the sun in the first place. Never the less, I created a survey to seek out what other possible applications it might have and tried to share it around. Unfortunately, I did not get any response for the next 5-6 months. Convinced then that the solution wasn’t needed, I decided to just let it rest.
Fast forward to 2016, I received a couple of emails/comments from people who read the above blog post. Someone commented that they need it too for sports. The other 2 were from pilots who used iPads when flying. I had an email exchange with one of the pilots and found that the iPad overheating (and shutting down) was a big enough problem for him as it kept him from using it for navigation. I spent some time looking at redesigning the cooling case and possibly making a small batch of it. But with other life demands on my end, I had to put it on hold.
Roll forward again to 2018, Survey Monkey, where I created the survey, sent me a notification reminding me that I should log in again to their website or else they will delete my account. As I logged in, lo and behold, the iPad cooling case survey had continued to live (even with my neglect) and it had collected a good number of responses since March 2014. Over 70% of those responses would like to have a cooling solution for their iPads! (I am a bit curious why I didn’t get a notification from Survey Monkey about all those responses.)
Another check on WordPress stats tells me that the story/blog post I wrote about designing the iPad cooling case is the top four (most viewed) posts in the last 3-4 years. That’s quite surprising. I was a bit bummed that I let all that slip past me but on a positive note I take those as signs telling me enough people wanted a cooling solution.
So here we are, back at the drawing board – ironing out the designs (mechanical and electronics), figuring out the bill of materials (how much it will cost), planning out the path to production, organising testing and sorting out any other issues.
What has been done so far in the last couple of months:
- rebuilt the temperature sensor circuit and cooling mechanism
- redesigned the case so that it is slimmer
- relooked at the cooling case design and how it could be more universal
What else needs to be done:
- build the electronics on custom PCBs and test them
- build a small quantity for beta testing with users
- finalising designs
- get electrical testing done to make sure it’s all safe.
Currently, I am organising testing with people who use their iPads during flying. For logistical reasons, my preference is to get people who are local in Australia to do the beta testing and get their feedback. Also, for a start, I am working on cases that fit the iPad mini 4 and the newer 9.7″ models (iPad Pro 9.7″ and iPad Air 2).
If you are keen to be involved in testing an iPad cooling case, please contact me here (link), select “iPad cooling case” and let me know:
- which iPad model you need a case for (preferably it would be one of those mentioned above but if not I will do my best to accommodate)
- how regularly you need to use it.
- any additional information you feel is required
Also, if you would like to pre-order or be notified when the iPad cooling case is available on the market, please fill up the same contact form.
With that thanks for reading and stay cool. 🙂