Charles Ng used to love his morning runs along Melbourne's Yarra River trail, but something really annoyed him: the constant jingle jangle of the keys in his shorts pocket. In fact, they annoyed him so much that he went home and threaded his keys through a nut and bolt to stop them making a noise. From this humble design solution Orbitkey evolved.
In 2013 Ng and his friend Rex Kuo launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring Orbitkey to life. They had one mission: to challenge the traditional ways of carrying keys by creating something that eliminates key jingles, reduces scratching of phones and wallets and also prevents holes created by keys in trouser pants. But it also had to look impressive when you whipped it out on a coffee table.
Kickstart your keys
More than 5000 Kickstarter backers agreed, pledging $210,000 to make Orbitkey a reality. Fast forward to 2016 and following a second successful Kickstarter campaign that has already raised more than $230,000, Kuo and Ng are getting ready to release Orbitkey 2.0.
"We got heaps of feedback from our backers and took it all on board to create an even better Orbitkey," says Kuo. "The new improved version is slimmer in profile so it fits nicely in your pocket, we've change the locking mechanism from aluminium to more durable stainless steel, and we've added the option of a new canvas band, as well as premium grade cushioned leather bands in five different colours."
Revamping the original
Like its earlier sibling, the idea behind the Orbitkey 2.0 is simply a better (and quieter) way to organise your keys. You can even stack your keys in a particular order so they are easy to find, especially at night. With the inclusion of add-ons (sold separately) the Orbitkey becomes like a Swiss Army knife.
These add-ons include the new six-function multi-tool (bottle opener, flat-head screwdriver, wrench tool, plier, file, and box cutter); a USB 3.0 drive (8GB or 32GB); and bottle opener. These all fit snuggly within the device, so it looks surprisingly compact.
Function + aesthetics
The Orbitkey holds up to seven keys. Bulkier sets of keys can be attached to the metal D ring that comes standard with every Orbitkey.
"First and foremost the Orbitkey 2.0 had to be functional," says Kuo. "But aesthetics was also important. It needed to be something you'd be happy to put on the table when you're out with your mates; a conversation starter."
Order an Orbitkey in leather for $44.95, or rubber for $34.95 in a range of colours.
The Orbitkey 2.0 will be available from November, however you can pre-order on Kickstarter at a discount now.