Take a look around at the gadgets you use and find one that has been “Made in the USA.” A few readers may claim that “Designed by Apple in California” would be the closest we can get. Yet with Google’s announcement that the Nexus Q streaming media player is “Designed and Manufactured in the USA,” it’s time to scan the wireless landscape and see why we can feel a bit more patriotic. With the American economy in focus, it’s time to play Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” (video) and highlight a growing number of wireless accessories that are Made in America. So why not Buy American?
What’s even more difficult is to build eco-friendly accessories that are Made in the USA. Here are seven wireless accessories “Made in America” that span from coast to coast with three of them being eco-friendly:
1) iCache Geode: Shortly after CTIA, I wrote about the debut of the iCache Geode, the first practical e-wallet that is an integrated mobile payment solution within a protective iPhone case. You can simply and securely store credit card, loyalty card, gift card and membership card info on your iPhone and protect it with biometric security. The Geode officially launched at a rockin’ BFD concert in Mountain View, California on June 2nd. Retailing for $199, it’s worth more than its weight in gold for the convenience because you can use it everywhere you shop – no NFC or specialized method of payment is required. And no one can use your iPhone if it’s misplaced or stolen because no one else has your unique fingerprint. With headquarters in Charleston, SC and manufacturing in Lexington, KY, this innovation will make a huge impact in the mobile payment world well beyond the USA.
2) G-Form Accessories: Responsible for creating over 300 jobs within the New England area in the last 6 months, G-Form expanded from making protective athletic wear to producing impact protection accessories for iPhones, iPads and 7” tablets. Their iPhone and iPad cases are so eye-catching and durable that I couldn’t pry the Extreme Grid case from my son’s hands when I asked him to test it on his iPhone. The moment his high school friends saw it, they wanted to buy one. All of the protective cases are designed and manufactured in the USA with headquarters in Providence, RI and manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts. What’s equally innovative is that the core material that provides the protection, known as RPT (Reactive Protection Technology) is a proprietary, patented material that is also Made in America. If you’re curious to see how strong their cases are, watch the video of the iPhone X-Protect case surviving the 82 MPH hockey slapshot or the video of the iPad Extreme Edge case enduring a 100,000’+ fall from space near Area 51. With prices ranging from $34.99 to $89.99, this is the next best think to insurance.
3) FlyGrip: Frustrated that he could not use his smartphone with one hand, Michael Karmatz, a passionate and dedicated entrepreneur who was born and raised in New York, came up with the idea for FlyGrip. If you are constantly multitasking and glued to your phone, FlyGrip allows you to free up one hand and multi-task efficiently. After attaching the accessory to the back of your phone or phone case with an adhesive, just slip two fingers into the secure and comfortable grip. Most phone cases can be used with FlyGrip as long as the back is smooth and made of a hard plastic or aluminum. It’s engineered to double as a kickstand in both portrait and landscape viewing angles, and its low profile takes up almost no room at all. With the corporate office in New York City and manufacturing just outside the Big Apple, you can even opt for a complimentary phone case at an MSRP of $29.95.
4) Feinger (eco-friendly): Manufactured in central Indiana, Feinger products provide Hands Freedom™ so you will never drop your mobile device again. It’s a classic startup story: the founders created the product after watching two commuters in downtown Chicago bump into each other and shatter their mobile phones. The Feinger pops and locks onto smartphones, cell phones, gaming devices and virtually all other handheld devices in order to prevent gadgets from dropping. At an MSRP of $15.95, it’s a reasonable value for the utility, although if you already have a mobile phone case, you may want to check with their support team to see if the Feinger can work on the case rather than directly attaching it to your device. They also have other accessories that complement the Feinger (unimount, sleeve, purse attachment, and lanyard) that range from $6.95 to $17.95. A green plus: Feinger is also conscientious about conserving America’s natural resources: all products and packaging are made from recycled plastics and paper.
5) Hub Innovations Rev360 for iPads (eco-friendly):Designed, engineered and manufactured in Portland, Oregon, the Rev 360 case is made from recycled and recyclable materials. With a simple, functional and durable design, the semi-flexible silicon case has an integrated stand with a rotating disk that allows you to effortlessly spin the iPad 360 degrees to switch back and forth between portrait and landscape views. The founders didn’t want just another commodity iPad accessory. They wanted something ergonomically and elegantly designed to revolutionize the efficiency of iPads being integrated into the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies. With prices ranging from $49.95 to $69.95, Hub Innovations has targeted the healthcare, education, real estate and business markets.
6) Wrapsol: What do Formula 1 race cars and Wrapsol protective film users have in common? Both use shock absorbing, puncture resistant transparent material to protect their valuables. Wrapsol is considered by many to be the leader in the bubble-free dry application shields for iPhones and iPads. Their shields are more puncture resistant (twice as strong), abrasion resistant and thinner than the leading competitor. If you don’t believe this, take a quick look at this remarkable video demo doing things with sharp objects that I would never do to my iPhone or iPad (it makes me cringe to watch it). With a portfolio of solutions that include the iPhone, iPad and other gadgets, Wrapsol shields range from $14.95 to $29.95.
7) TRTLBOT (eco-friendly): The TRTL BOT team lives and breathes the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Their Los Angeles office is lit using passive solar cells. The turtle logo represents ecology, protection, functionality and distinct style, characteristics that are designed within all of the TRTL BOT products. There is at least 1 recycled plastic bottle in each one of their iPhone cases. They’re best known for the KidSafe case for the iPhone because the Home Button can be blocked. iPhone cases are priced from $19.95 to $29.95 and they’re working on the launch of a hard shell case for the iPad targeted toward young kids and the Education market. All of their packaging is made with recycled paper from locally sourced paper mills. Products are shipped using biodegradable, reusable mailers. Additionally, TRTL BOT has joined forces with One Percent for the Planet, donating 1% of their sales to over 2,250 environmental groups all over the world.
Why Buy American?
Today more than half of everything we buy is made outside of the United States. Yet with the innovations above and more in the pipeline, you can help turn the tide. If every American spent about $20 on Made in the USA wireless accessories, it would create 60,000 new jobs. So think of the impact you can have if you Buy American. For more on other Made in America companies, check out this Resource Guide published by ABC News. Tell us more: are there other wireless accessories that you use which are Made in the USA?
If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like to read:
- The Green Wave: Five Tech Trends that will Accelerate E-Cycling
- Trash Tech: Should Americans Be “Taxed” for Food Waste?
- Time for Green Consumers to DWYSYWD
- Eco Marathon: Can You Get 3000 MPG?
- Do Smartphones Have an Afterlife?
- Why Samsung Can Win Win with Green (Eco) Products
© 2012 by Ed Valdez. All rights reserved.
Trademarks and Logos are properties of their respective companies.