Macworld 2010: Armpocket cases are a family affair
We stopped by the Armpocket booth at Macworld last week, and while we expected to find just another accessory sales pitch, we found something surprising: a family. The product was actually designed by a couple named Jyette Nielsen and Mark Morgan, and as Mark explained the cases to us (which are made from high-quality, renewable materials like recycled bottle plastic and natural bamboo), we could see that this was a product with real people behind it. He's a retired military guy, and he and his "significant other" ("She's too smart to marry me," he joked) simply had a problem and came up with a solution: they're both runners, and they needed a sweat-proof, secure case to keep their iPods and cell phones in. Armpocket was the case they came up with.
Morgan told me he didn't have any significant manufacturing experience -- the couple just went around to various trade shows and chose materials and designs based on what worked for them, and now they go around and sell their cases in retail and at the trade shows (their son was in attendance at Macworld also, selling and demoing the cases). And the Armpockets are impressive -- while they're a little bigger than the standard case, the material is all moisture resistant, the padding grips your arm well while holding your phone securely in place, and there's even something called a "flexi-lock" audio port for holding the headphone cord. The cases are US$22.95 for the regular iPod versions, up to $32.95 for more extensive models.
Obviously, we didn't get to go running around the Macworld floor, so in terms of testing, I can't recommend this case over any other sturdy iPhone armbands out there. Still, it was nice to find some real people behind these often faceless accessory vendors.