Have you ever dropped your iPhone and cracked the screen while taking the dog for walk, or done the same to your laptop when your dog trips you? Yup, I’ve done both and let me tell you, it sucks. Thanks to Bullz-i’s amänõ, you can avoid that agony. Amänō is a ring that attaches to the back of your smartphone, tablet or notebook computer.
Bullz-i originally called their product THE RiNG during their successful Kickstarter campaign. It was later rebranded as amänō, from the Italian and Spanish “a mano” meaning “at hand, ” because it does just that, it keeps your devices close at hand without fear of accident. As Bullz-i states:
“Our mobile phones and devices are so versatile and valuable that we often keep them close at hand, if not right in hand. Yet, as they have grown larger and thinner, they have become more difficult to hold and use. With amänō, you will find that you can now comfortably and securely hold your mobile device in a way that you’ve probably been naturally searching for all these years.”
While prototyping the amänō, Bullz-i had the design 3D printed at 2x scale. This allowed them to easily see how the parts move, as amänō isn’t simple a ring, but two concentric circles. The inner ring goes on the user’s hand and spins freely.
I got to try out the amänō at CE Week NYC, and even though it seems a little strange at first glance, it was comfortable and intuitive to use. Press your finger in the center of the amänō and as you lift your finger up, it will catch on the ring and pull it up. You can slide your finger through the ring from either side, depending on what kind of grip you require. It’s a little difficult to explain exactly how it works, so see the video above to see the amänō in action.
The amänō will stick to any smartphone, tablet or laptop with or without a case thanks to its 3M adhesive backing. And don’t worry about it leaving a sticky mess behind or damage the finish on your phone. You can easily remove the amänō by sliding a plastic card, such as a credit card, without leaving behind a sticky mess. Amänō is made from aluminum and its clean, modern styling is meant to complement your beloved electronic devices. Bullz-i chose aluminum for its production model due to its light weight and strength. It also resists corrosion, allows for color anodizing and laser etching and it’s 100% recyclable.
Since the amänō give you a secure grip on your smartphone, you can bring use to record action shots or take it with you on a run. And of course, it’s great for taking selfies. So you can make a duck face in the club or flex your muscles in the for that bathroom mirror shot without any qualms. Naturally, it also functions as a stand and when folded flat can help keep your phone dry, if placed on a wet surface.
Amänō is currently testing a new set of samples from their manufacturer and expects to deliver the first production units to their Kickstarter backers in September. They may be offering some different versions in the future. One of the surprising benefits of 3D printing a larger-sized prototype is that Bullz-i found that they fit comfortably in a child’s hand. So, a children’s version for tablets is a possibility. All in all, it’s a product with a lot of potential and hopefully will require fewer emergency trips to the Apple store.
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