Adam Raby, a Maryland native and UMBC graduate now living in Chicago, came up with the idea for the CushPad while watching his girlfriend fumble with his precious iPad, occasionally dropping it. He also got tired of looking for ways to prop the device up while he sat on the couch or in bed while trying to use it.
So last fall, Raby, 29, tried his hand at building an encasement of foam that snugly holds an iPad. His prototype worked well, and he had a short run of 100 CushPads made by two Chicago manufacturers (hooray for American manufacturing!)
He sold out.
The early success fueled his desire to launch a Kickstarter campaign to produce more CushPads on demand. Kickstarter is proving to be a wild success for many small product developers, who are able to use social media to find an audience and customers who could help fund small production runs.
As a parent of three children under age 4, my kids are constantly pawing and grabbing my iPad. Wrapping my $500+ device in a CushPad just makes a lot of sense. The CushPad answers a different use-case than a lot of the other iPad cases on the market, which generally are designed for manipulating the iPad on a desktop or tabletop surface so you can type.
Raby also sees a niche within the parent/children market, and is hoping the CushPad proves useful for parents of special needs children who use the iPad.
Raby, who grew up in Indian Head, in Charles County, Md., hopes to sell the CushPad for $29 to $35 for now, and is pushing for it to be carried in a handful of specialty retailers (think Brookstone) and college bookstores (think college kids lounging around all day with their CushPads.)
Watch the Kickstarter video below (which is well done.)