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Side Kick cable manager eliminates usual tangled mess

Cult of Mac 2019-02-05 22:21:26

Logan Bailey will not rest until he has tamed every last tangled MacBook charging cord.

He made inroads in 2017 with the Side Winder, a reel that mounts the charging brick in the middle and pulls in both ends of the cord with a few twists.

Now, Bailey returns with the Side Kick, a square-shaped collapsible cable winder that sticks to the side of the charging brick. It comes to the rescue of new MacBook Pro users who are discovering Apple made changes to the charging cord.

Side Kick cable manager happened out of frustration

“Like the Side Winder, the Side Kick came from my own personal pain,” Bailey told Cult of Mac. “I bought a new MacBook and realized it does not include the fat extension cable (or) the two fold-out cable-management tabs.

“This leaves a very cumbersome, 7-foot cable to wind up by hand and toss into a backpack.”

Side Kick launches today on Kickstarter, where early backers can get the accessory for $12.

Dramatic before and after image.
Photo: Fuse Reel

Many Kickstarter projects fail, but Bailey found success with the crowdfunding site. The Side Winder ranked as the top-funded MacBook accessory on Kickstarter in 2017. Since then, it has satisfied more than 40,000 MacBook users.

The new Side Kick already reached its final form in the prototype stage. Bailey lined up a manufacturer, too, and hopes those two crucial steps will let him ship to early backers by June.

Logan Bailey: American tinkerer

Bailey’s story is truly American. The kid who always tinkered and tore apart gadgets around the home, Bailey studied business at Brigham Young University. During a school competitio, he tried to think up a product for entrepreneurs.

His MacBook cord was among the many tangled messes he noticed in the school library. The SideWinder was inspired by that. And during a trip to Home Depot, he spotted the orange reel for fish tape, which electricians use to route new wiring through walls and conduit.

He taped his charging brick to the middle and began designing prototypes. It took 40 before he found one thin enough to throw in a bag. More than 7,000 backers pledged $320,000 on Kickstarter.

Bailey’s first product fueled a company he named Fuse Reel. The company will launch four to five new products this year, including an accessory for the newest iPad Pro, he said.

Side Kick MacBook cable manager

The Side Kick looks something like a square-shaped PopSocket, a smartphone accessory that sticks to the back of the device and lets the fingers secure the phone in hand.

But PopSockets were not the inspiration. A colleague suggested a design similar to a collapsible bowl. Bailey said he bought a few and went to work deconstructing the bowl.

Side Kick will work with other square chargers, such as those by HP, Lenovo and Asus. Notches on opposing corners secure the cord’s end.