Antsy Labs is a Colorado-based design house that has created tech-related products in the past. Its Duet Dock was one of the first dual Apple Watch/iPhone charging docks we reviewed at Apple World Today, and it paved the way for a lot of other similar docks. But the company’s biggest invention doesn’t require a power outlet, needs no recharging, can fit in your pocket, and has no need for iCloud syncing. It’s the $19 Fidget Cube, and it may do more for productivity and creativity than a whole container ship full of Macs, iPhones and iPads.
Most humans have a tendency to fidget when we are bored, frustrated, in need of focus or looking for a creative answer. Me? I used to pick up a pen and click it, or twirl it around like a baton. Now I pick up the prototype Fidget Cube on my desk. Antsy Labs refers to the Fidget Cube as a “vinyl desk toy”, but it’s more than that. Let’s look at what’s on this little one-inch rounded cube:
- A flat, dished “worry stone” area where you can idly rub a thumb;
- A toggle switch that can be clicked slowly and quietly for cogitation, or quickly and loudly to burn off frustration and/or annoy your office mates;
- A flat circular joystick that glides around at the touch of a thumb or finger;
- Five little pushbuttons, three of which deliver a loud, satisfying click when pushed and two that just give you the tactile feedback of a button;
- A round, rotating disc with a tiny nub on top of it that you can spin around; and
- My favorite side, with three rotating gear switches that click nicely when moved, as well as a metal trackball that can be clicked.
So what the heck do you do with this thing? Easy - when you are working on something that requires a creative thought but you’re stuck, just pick up the Fidget Cube and play with it for a while. The motion and tactile involvement with the switches and dials tends to do two things; it focuses a mind that is too busy thinking about 3,497 things at once, and it also stimulates creative thinking.
How does a little vinyl toy accomplish this? I don’t know, but there are plenty of articles written about the creative and calming effects of fidgeting, and it’s obvious that Matthew and Mark McLachlan — the brothers behind Antsy Labs — are onto something. The duo was only looking for $15,000 to get production going for the Fidget Cube, and as of today with 40 days to go in their Kickstarter campaign, they have almost 56,000 backers and over $2,150,000 in funding.
If you’re like me and you tend to play with stuff on your desk to get your mind going, jump over to Kickstarter right now and back the Fidget Cube. At least you won’t need to get up in the middle of the night to pre-order it!