Here are some updates on the development of the iPad Cooling Case that I have been working on and off since 4-5 years back and have focused on more in 2020. There have been a few challenges (some related to Covid, some not) but there have also been some good conversations and work that have helped move this development forward. So I am now closer to finishing and launching.
User Testing & Feedback
When I did a reboot of the this project a couple of years back, the main targeted users were pilots. So this year, I have had some meaningful conversations with different users ranging from private to commercial pilots and military. A couple of them had the chance to use the beta test units. It was evident some changes were necessary.
More Design Changes
There are a few design related things that I have worked on and they are based on those conversations and feedback including:
- The need for protection for the iPad, particularly on the corners
- The on/off switch for the cooling/electronics can’t be too small
- Battery life of the unit could be longer
- Easier access of charging port
- The need to work with existing mounting solutions
Thinking About Production
As I plan the next steps including going into production, I am looking into small batch production and having the option and ability to make slight modifications should the need arise. So I will be exploring additive manufacturing and potentially getting it done locally. Yes, the cost of manufacturing per unit will be higher but there will be more agility and potentially less wastage of resources at the start. There is another benefit of additive manufacturing: although my focus is currently on the iPad mini 4 & 5, additive manufacturing gives me the ability to customise solutions for different iPad models.
Accessories That Will Work With The Cooling Case
As mentioned above, one important feedback I have received is that pilots want the iPad Cooling Case to work with existing mounting solutions. The most common mounting options are either kneeboards or suction mounts. For suction mounts, there are 2 popular solutions and they are RAM mounts and MyGoFlight mounts. RAM mounts use the AMPS pattern which is a standard 4 hole pattern. MyGoFlight mounts also sell adapters that can work with the AMPS pattern mount. So the iPad Cooling Case will incorporate the AMPS pattern so that it could work with those solutions.
I have also tested the iPad Cooling Case with the RAMS X-Grip suction mount and I think that works well. The optional tether provides additional securing of the iPad with the Cooling Case.
In terms of kneeboard mounting, besides ones that will work with the AMPS pattern, there are also kneeboard solutions that have universal securing means. One example that I have tested is the MyClip Multi strap. From my initial testing using one of my beta units, it works pretty well and can be swapped between landscape or portrait mode.
I am also trying to find out what other accessories pilots need to have while using their iPad ( and Cooling Case). If you would like to share with me what accessories you use with your iPad, please leave a comment below or send me a message here – contact page. I would really appreciate that and it will help me make the solution even more usable for more people.
Lastly, if you would like to be informed when the product is launched (hopefully early 2021), please leave me a message (contact page) and I will be in touch. Thank you!