With an endless glut of consumer gadgets being produced overseas, it’s always a pleasure to discover a tech company that prefers to make products here in the United States. One company that’s at the head of this reshoring trend is Silicon Valley’s Insanely Great Products, whose elegantly crafted items include the stylish FrameShift iPad stand.
FrameShift is designed for any standard sized iPad with a 9.7-inch screen. It’s made of hand-brushed anodized CNC aircraft grade aluminum and supported by military grade, abrasion resistant rubber padding, along with stainless steel hardware. The stand can be adjusted without using any tools, to a number of angles that suit a user’s preference and allows for an iPad to be viewed from either a portrait or landscape orientation. The ability to adjust the stand’s angle can be a great benefit to iPad users who utilize video communication systems, such as Skype, Apple’s FaceTime or Cisco’s WebEx. In addition, its state-of-the-art appearance also makes the FrameShift a nice complement to the iPad in a corporate environment or in the home.
Weighing just 5.4 oz., but impressively sturdy, the stand can be folded flat, making it conveniently transportable in a briefcase, yet durable enough for people on the go. The FrameShift is designed in collaboration with Insanely Great Products partner, Darwin Machine and hand made at Insanely Great Products’ facility in Menlo Park, not far from Facebook headquarters.
While the FrameShift is uniquely handcrafted and has a major coolness factor, its retail cost of $99 prices many consumers out of this market. To put this price in perspective, an entry level, fourth generation iPad retails for $499; one fifth the cost of a FrameShift. However upon closer inspection of other tech products designed with anodized CNC aircraft grade aluminum, prices are strikingly similar and the FrameShift is all but certain to outlive the usefulness of mass produced iPad stands. But the bigger selling point to consider is Insanely Great Products’ contribution in the reshoring effort to create more products and jobs on American soil.
Richard Ford, company co-founder and VP of Marketing says he was driven by what he was seeing friends and former colleagues doing with an iPad. He also shared a real concern with outsourcing products and jobs overseas. A former product line manager responsible for networking and communication software for Apple, Ford recalls seeing WiFi iPads being used as an inexpensive video conferencing terminal for business and in home offices, seeing iPads frequently used as second laptop to monitor email or some other communications task. Additionally, Ford points out the practicality of a FrameShift stand for tasks performed in the home, such as watching a You Tube video on an iPad for kitchen recipes, watching a feature length movie, checking updates from social media, writing emails, and of course making video calls such as Skype, FaceTime, et. al. The idea of creating a superior iPad stand that’s designed and made in the U.S., made perfect sense to Ford and his colleagues in Menlo Park.
For iPad Mini and iPhone 5 users, Insanely Great Products unveiled the FrameShift Mini, amid positive reviews at the recent MacWorld San Francisco. There is also a FrameShift Pro model equipped with an even sturdier stand, that when combined with an iPad, somewhat resembles a smaller version of a desktop Apple iMac.
Insanely Great Products not only designs and assembles their cutting edge products locally, they also use American-made tools and materials. That in itself, seems to be a rarity these days, particularly in the tech sector. But consumers and the corporate world should take notice that companies who do not outsource their products and manpower, are making a more reasonable and ethical contribution towards the overall economic recovery the country is undergoing. With that thought in mind, the price tag of the FrameShift might seem like a bargain.