Pushcase: A Smartphone Case Wallet

Last year, Staples became the first big-box retailer to sell 3D printers to the public. The cheapest model went for a paltry $1,700—not that steep, considering you can print ANYTHING, even with moving parts, as long as it fits within the size parameters. Self-proclaimed "nerdy dude" Ben Yoshiharo of Costa Mesa waited a long time for the consumer model to be released, but instead of printing a sonic screwdriver, he took a practical route.

"I have some prior experience in product design—I've made some novelty items for 7-Eleven, like mustaches," he says with a laugh. But Yoshiharo is also a tech guy who likes selling electronics on eBay. "I really wanted to print an iPhone case, and even though you can download templates, making your own is much more difficult."

After a few months of messing around, Yoshiharo had an idea when he heard his toaster pop. An iPhone case that doubles as a wallet ain't news—but one that isn't bulky and disguises being a wallet altogether is. Yoshiharo's Push cases resemble the basic kind you might buy at the Golden West Swap Meet—but with the simple push (har, har, har) of a button, a wallet pops out of the side. It holds either three credit cards or two credit cards and some cash. That doesn't seem like a lot to a lady who has a wallet heavy enough to knock someone out—but it's actually the same amount of room that any other wallet case has.

Yoshiharo already made the prototypes on his printer, but he needs help with funding through his Kickstarter campaign (www.pushcase.com), so that he can turn his tech dream into a viable product. He's raised enough to produce basic cases, but more moolah means more color options and a Droid version. Oh, and about that button: It makes a nice, satisfying "click," and rigorous testing ensured it won't wear out after months of absentminded pushing.

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