It has the classic bottle opener, to eliminate the bulky one on your keychain. It also has three screwdrivers, a set of hex wrenches and other useful tools, including a first-of-kind “phone kickstand”. The user slides a credit card through a slot in the tool to form the kickstand. This lets users rest their iPhone or Android phone at a comfortable viewing angle when sitting at coffee shops or during flights.
The incredibly thin, patent-pending design is made possible by using specially treated metal that is 4-times the strength of standard stainless steel. It is crafted from 1mm of stainless steel and only weighs one ounce.
Barr, a mechanical engineer and graduate of UMASS Amherst, asserts that using complex manufacturing methods enabled the tools design. “Other tools made from stamped steel are at least twice as thick because stamping requires a soft material, which is then inherently weak and necessitates a thicker part,” says Barr. “I’ve been able to accomplish the same strength in a thin part by using a post-treatment process to harden the steel.”
Even as most manufacturing is being done at present in China, Barr kept this project domestic. “I found a US manufacturer who had experience with making experimental prototypes. Those are the types of jobs that have remained in the US,” says Barr. “But that is also exactly the type of experience needed to manufacture such a complex part.”
PocketMonkey is being launched pre-production on crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Notable successes on Kickstarter include Pebble, which raised a whopping $10 million. Barr has no delusions of even approaching such high numbers, as PocketMonkey is being offered for only $12, much less than Kickstarter’
If you’d like more information about the PocketMonkey Project, or if you’d like to schedule an interview with Nate, please email email@example.com or call 818-925-5384.
Nate Barr studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduating, he worked with product design firm Cambridge Consultants for several years designing medical products such as inhalers, diagnostics, and implantable devices. He is passionate about working on startup ideas and has taught himself to code as part of working on several personal projects. PocketMonkey is his first entrepreneurial project that pairs both sides of his experience.