Even though Apple has no plan to release its own dock for the iPhone 5, we’ve seen plenty of third party alternatives that all look as creative as they are original. The OCDock by OCDesk is one of these docks that not only looks gorgeous, but seamlessly integrates with your iMac or Thunderbolt display. It’s simple, it’s beautiful. In short, it’s something that Apple itself could have designed.
Today we sit down with Mart Jaetma, an OCDesk team member who is actively contributing to the development of the OCDock and its Kickstarter campaign. Mart tells us more about the OCDock, how it came to life, and why you should help fund his project…
What is the OCDock?
OCDock is the world’s first minimal iPhone 5 dock that is specially designed for iMac & Thunderbolt displays. A beautifully designed aluminum iPhone dock that seamlessly camouflages to iMac and Thunderbolt Displays, creating a clean and zen-like workspace. It’s unique paper-thin cable runs underneath the display appearing wireless. All things considered, a truly one of a kind dock that has already made some non-iMac users consider buying one simply to get to use the OCDock.
How did you get the idea of creating the OCDock and why did you start this project?
Like most ideas, it started out unintended and as a coincidence. One of our designers simply felt that his dock would be optimally placed if it were glued on to the iMac stand. At the same time, another team member happened to follow the famous Elevation Dock take off on the Kickstarter. Now when we added the conceptual vision to the accessibility of resources, an actionable and potentially achievable idea was born. Even the longest journeys start with the smallest steps, and so did ours.
Although Apple isn’t making its own dock, there seems to be a few alternatives out there for an iPhone 5 dock, why would I go with the OCDock?
The very essence of OCDock is the balance between minimalist design and practical functionality. Our laser-sharp focus is set on delivering this synergistic experience exclusively to iMac & Thunderbolt owners. We are not afraid of limiting our upside by specializing on this seemingly smaller niche. It ensures that we are able to offer iMac & Thunderbolt users the docking system most consistent with their needs. Something that would end their search for a perfect docking station. We never liked the idea of being all things to all users. The reality is that if you attempt to be excellent at too many aspects, you will end up being mediocre at all of them and amazing at nothing. We truly believe that OCDock offers a refreshing alternative for the myriad of one-shoe-fits-all docking stations that often have to invent the problems they attempt to solve.
What devices does the OCDock work with?
This is where we decided to offer our customers a variety of choices. When buying the OCDock, you can configure the compatibility to best suit your needs. First of all, to ensure the compatibility with your iPhone, you can choose between the Lightning Connector for the new iPhone 5 and the 30 pin version for older iPhones.
Secondly, you can choose between the regular OCDock and the OCDock Mini. The regular OCDock comes with with three interchangeable silicone supports to suit naked iPhones, slimmer cases as well as larger cases. The OCDock Mini version is designed to fit naked iPhones with slim cases and it also works perfectly with iPad Mini right off the box. And as last option, you can decide which of the two colors your like the best – a glass bead blasted and anodized silver finish matching the iMac, or a jet black matte finish for extra contrast.
Naturally all the OCDock versions are compatible with the latest generation of iMacs, starting with the late 2009 models and all the way to the newly introduced ultra-slim iMac 2012.
But there is actually more to that than the seamless compatibility. When installed in the center of the display base, The OCDock offers a hands-free approach and accessibility with your iPhone – streamlining FaceTime experiences and shortcuts to applications. All this is achieved while keeping your desk clutter-less.
Who are the people behind OCDesk? How did the company start and why?
Our core team currently consists of four people – Mart, Peedu, Harri and Koit, all cherry-picked due to their natural drive and passion for obsessively clean desks and perfection. We are incorporated as OCDesk LLC in Miami, but the team is actually split between US and Europe. The team has wealth of experience in the fields of product design, engineering, sales and marketing. For example Peedu has developed world-class user interface for already 8 years, while Koit is about to finish his Masters of Science degree in the reputable Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. We have also a couple of experienced entrepreneurs on board, advising us to ensure we keep our focus and don’t get too carried away with our good start. We have come a long way, but the hardest part is still to come.
Why did you choose to use Kickstarter?
Until recently, if you wanted to make an impact in hardware business, it simply wasn’t possible without institutional backing by professional investors. Kickstarter has changed the way people can start and finance new ideas. It is also no secret that Kickstarter is the most high-profile crowdfunding platform on the web and most likely with the widest reach. We fell in love with their community centric approach, which enabled us direct two-way interaction with our backers from the day one.
Do you have any experience in product design and development?
We have plenty. The OCDock itself took more than 30 prototypes with different designs and materials to arrive at the final design. During the development process we took into account all the angles and design elements of the iMac to find the perfect shape that fully compliments the iMac. But even before the OCDock, our team has taken on several challenging product design and development projects.
When will the OCDock enter production, where will it be manufactured, and how much will it cost?
OCDock will enter production as soon as we successfully complete the Kickstarter campaign. Our products are designed and assembled in the US, the components are manufactured in China, in the same region as Apple aluminum devices.
OCDock will be available in two sizes: a smaller version for $75 that is designed to fit naked iPhones with slim cases and a larger dock for $79 with three interchangeable silicone supports for naked iPhones, slimmer cases and larger cases. You can also choose between two colors: a glass bead blasted and anodized silver finish matching the iMac, and a jet black matte finish for those that like contrast.
Where will I be able to buy the OCDock from?
OCDocks are currently offered exclusively on Kickstarter at discount rates. After the Kickstarter campaign, all products will be available for purchase at www.ocdesk.com. In addition, we are currently in process of negotiating terms with several distributors and gadget shops across the globe.
Do you have other projects in the pipeline?
Yes. We have multiple products in our development roadmap. OCDock is only the first of several unique accessory ideas we have come up with. Followed by the Kickstarter campaign, we’ll be adding new products that help people maintain cleaner workspace and increase their productivity. All sharing the lean and minimalist yet highly functional design philosophies that you’ve already seen in OCDock. Stay tuned, we believe it is well worth a wait.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We would like to take this opportunity to first thank our early backers! You know who you are and you matter the most for helping us get the project off the ground and towards the tipping point! Shoot out goes also to the brave tech bloggers and blogs who agreed to cover our story early, including iDownloadBlog.
If you are interested in helping fund this project, please check out the OCDock Kickstarter page. Pledges start at $5. For a $15 pledge, you will receive a beautiful exotic rosewood back cover for your iPhone. For a pledge of $55 or more, you will get your very own OCDock once available. See the Kickstarter page for details.