Could we see these in the classroom?

We often get the opportunity to talk with potential and existing customers and receive feedback on design dos and don’ts … features that are liked and design pitfalls to watch out for.  As we seek feedback on our new Chromebook cases we are advised to avoid anything that kids could pick at or fidget with.  In general we try to design all of our cases as simple and smooth as possible.  Organic has always been our design approach. However, while on a recent browsing binge of Kickstarter I stumbled upon a new concept product that reminded me of these recent conversations.  The product is called Fidget Cube and as of today, more than halfway through it’s campaign has raised an amazing $5.5 million.  I thought that I was ahead of the curve in discovering this successful new product, but upon mentioning it to my family they said they have already seen it on Instagram.  Apparently it was trending on social media which explains the big pre-sales numbers.   

Immediately I had to know more.  Why so successful?  Is this the first product of its kind?  Is this the beginning of a new class of products for those with ADHD?  Is our constant interaction with smart phones causing more fidgeting habits?  Could we start seeing students with these gadgets?

Scanning through the 4000+ comments written by Fidget Cube backers you’ll notice lots of excitement from people with anxiety and focus issues, like Aspergers, Tourettes, and ADHD.   Many express their readiness to get their hands on the Fidget Cube as quick as possible.

I had to see if there were other “fidget” gadgets, so I scanned the usually suspects: Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay, Google, YouTube and found some newly created videos on another type of hand toy to fiddle with.   I feel like I’ve seen these before, somewhere, but all the videos were less than a couple months old.

To give the Hand Spinner ideas affirmation I do recall how tactilely satisfying is was to just spin skateboard bearings between my thumb and forefinger when I was younger.  These concepts are similar but now with a wide range of shapes prototyped using 3D printers and more bearings, I’m assuming for greater centrifugal force and longer spin times.

Whether this is a trend or just more paraphernalia for EDC (Every Day Carry) folks or the beginning of an innovative new category of product remains to be seen.  One thing is for sure, with success of the Kickstarter campaign and excitement among those willing to wait a few months to receive theirs, we will be seeing and hearing a lot more about Fidget gadgets.


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