Having extra juice for your iPhone doesn’t have to look or feel bulky with this portable battery and charger from this Kickstarter project, Cabin: it’s slim and minimal. You’ll love it if you love the design of the iPhone, but you’ll also be able to appreciate the simple magnetic connection similar to the Magsafe plugs found on other Mac devices.
Unfortunately, Magsafe plugs are proprietary technology patented by Apple that’s been a point of dispute for other charging accessories. It sounds problematic enough to be addressed by Cabin as a “frequently asked question.”
With relation to any infringement, we are currently taking advice about legal steps and adjustments to avoid this. There have been questions about our use of Lightning as opposed to MicroUSB. We believe a main reason other accessory manufacturers have used MicroUSB is because Apple’s licensing fees for this certification and chipset are expensive. We don’t believe in increasing our amount of profit by reducing the user experience and cost. We are currently in the application process for receiving an official license for Lightning. With regards to patents, these do not mean these innovations are only restricted to the owners. One of the main directives for patents is to encourage innovation, not to stifle it. In most cases, it depends on the licensing fees. Most court cases happen because of a disagreement on licensing fees. Note that we are not the first to use a magnetic interface. This has also been utilized by the likes of Microsoft and Sony. Whether POGO infringed upon Apple’s patents is unknown, but it seems they were infringing upon audio jack connection patients. HyperJuice seemed to have run afoul as they designed their connector to copy Apple’s MagSafe design and infringed on both trademark and design. Our adaptor is of a brand new design and uses a magnetic connection to improve the user’s experience, much in the same way as Pebble, the Sony Xperia Z1, Microsoft Surface, and even the Palm Veer.
Cabin’s design for a portable battery uses a MicroAdapter that plugs into your iPhone’s Lightning port. It’s a magnetic attachment, which makes connecting the battery case to the iPhone a breeze. The Cabin dock is just as clean and seamless as your typical iPhone dock. Just don’t expect the magnetic MicroAdapter to work with any of your other Mac products – Cabin’s ports and magnetic design is different from your Mac and potentially even any new iPhones that might appear later this year. The Kickstarter is for the 5/5s, but that might change as the crowd funding campaign has already managed to gather over 100K for its 50K project.