Within the first few days of having my Apple Watch, two things became apparent. First, my cats find the device to be an attractive toy, and second, if the Watch isn't securely placed on the charging puck, it's not going to charge properly. Fortunately, the designers at Element 13 have come up with a dock called the Night Stand (US$69 - 79 depending on pledge level) that anchors both my iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch on a curvaceous circular platform for charging. The designers sent Apple World Today a prototype of Night Stand to check out, and I found a lot to love.
The base of the Night Stand is a truncated aluminum cylinder about 4.4 inches in diameter that adds a lot of heft to the dock -- it weighs in at 1 lb., 6 oz. without the cables added in. Above that is another cylindrically shaped piece of machined aluminum that has a niche for the Watch charger, plus a shelf for an iPhone 5 or later.
You supply your own charging cables, which snake into the appropriate spaces through a pair of channels machined in the base. The top of the aluminum base is covered with a precisely molded silicone place with a slight lip on the back of it to keep your Watch band from wandering. There's a similar piece of silicone on the iPhone dock piece -- two pieces will be provided with the production models, one for use with a case on your iPhone and for use without a case.
The central pillar of the Night Stand is tilted back just slightly, which makes the iPhone a bit more visible with less screen reflection from most viewing angles. The photos included here are from Element 13's website, as the prototype was a bit rough. The production models will come in two finishes: space gray and silver. The space gray version features midnight black silicone pieces, while the silver version uses white silicone.
I like the design of the Night Stand -- it seems much more cohesive and centered than the Duet Dock reviewed last week. It's heavy enough to keep iPhone and Watch in place on a night stand, even when cats want to play with the smartwatch. If you're looking for a Watch/iPhone charging stand and can wait until August to receive it, I recommend backing this Kickstarter campaign. The project is currently almost 10% funded with a little over three weeks to go; with your help, this stylish and very functional dock can make it into production.