Other Lessons in This Course
- History of PopSockets
- The 10 Most Iconic Promo Items in History
- History of Promotional Products
- History of Fidget Spinners
- History of Tote Bags
- History of Pens
- History of Modern Trade Shows
- History of Stress Balls
- History of Lunch Boxes
- History of T-Shirts
- History of Koozies
- History of the Frisbee
- History of Coffee Mugs
- History of Pencils
- History of Reusable Water Bottles
- History of Logo Design
- History of Keychains
- History of Backpacks
- History of Sunglasses
- History of Baseball Caps
- History of Flashlights
- History of Sticky Notes
- History of Sports Merchandise
- History of Lip Balm
- History of Wedding Favors
- History of PopSockets
- History of Cell Phone Wallets
PopSockets started in David Barnett’s garage in 2014. Since then, the market has boomed as more and more people want this super cool mobile accessory. Whether you love mandalas, Harry Potter, or cats in outer space, there are a variety of PopSockets at stores and online that fit your style!
Who invented PopSockets? What does a PopSocket do? Grab your cell phone, pop a squat, and get ready to learn about the history of these cool gadgets!
OtterBox® created their Defender series. The Defender series came with a clip-on accessory that allowed you to clip it to your belt, attach it to your purse, or convert it to a kickstand. Just like PopSockets you could use the kickstand to watch videos without having to hold your phone.
A company called Bobino started manufacturing Cord Wraps for headphones. This sparked a trend of similar gadgets that store headphones safely without the risk of tangling. These devices were similar to the first concept of PopSockets and shared the same purpose.
David Barnett, a former Philosophy professor and Jason Statham lookalike, wanted a way to store his headphones to prevent them from tangling. This eventually evolved into the idea behind PopSockets.
Apple made Smart Covers for iPads that consist of 3 magnetic folds that can create a kickstand when folded correctly. This made viewing videos or using your iPad as a computer screen easier by utilizing the functionality of the case and popping it out to make a stand.
Barnett glued two buttons to the back of his phone to wrap his headphones around. After listening to some family-friendly mocking about his hasty solution he decided to come up with a more appealing design.
Early 2012Source: kickstarter.com
Barnett teamed up with Speck Design for his iPhone case design and turns to Kickstarter to share his idea in hopes of receiving funds to help “kickstart” his brand. This idea is scrapped and the PopSockets are designed without the case.
Like many successful companies, Barnett’s business launched from his garage. He took the accordion design, removed the case, added a sticky gel pad, and voila! PopSockets were born. You could now wrap your headphones around its pocketed design or position it to act as a kickstand on your phone.
Barnett signed his first major retail deal with T-Mobile! This put his brand right in the middle of the action and allowed T-Mobile to sell PopSockets as part of buying a new smartphone!
Summer 2016Source: pbs.twimg.com
Barnett made custom PopSockets for YouTube personality Jenna Marbles. He printed images of her dog’s faces on them, and after she promoted the brand on one of her YouTube videos that have over 1.9 million views.
Fall 2016Source: cdn.shopify.com
PopSockets made their way to the red carpet. You can see one making its debut as a helpful lever while Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic take a selfie. By placing PopSockets in the center of your cell phone you are less likely to drop it!
February 2018Source: cdn.shopify.com
PopSockets LLC invented car vent mounts that allow you to slide your PopSockets right in. This gives your phone a spot in your car free from sliding around, and makes car rides safer for those that use their phones as a GPS.
Spring 2018Source: pbs.twimg.com
Shortly after the car vent mounts came out, PopSockets LLC released a multi-surface mount. Now you can have your phone in your kitchen for a hands-free cookbook, or your bathroom for that makeup tutorial you’re trying to perfect.
PopSockets teamed up with OtterBox® and released the Otter + Pop Symmetry Series for the iPhone 7 and future models. The case is sleek and slim, and it comes equipped with a built-in PopSocket™ and swappable PopTop™.
It’s not just about decorating your school locker or wearing the latest trends in fashion anymore. Now teenagers can show off their unique style and the brands they love in their mirror selfies.
Remember the good ole days of reading maps to get from point A to point B? Now you can use the maps on your smart phone safely in your car with PopSockets and car mounts.
Many athletes enjoy listening to music to get in the zone. With PopSocketsyou can listen to your music on the go and quickly wrap up your headphones without them getting tangled!
Who Invented PopSockets?
David Barnett, from Boulder, Colorado is the Founder and CEO at PopSockets LLC. Before starting his company, Barnett worked at the University of Colorado at Boulder as an Associate Professor of Philosophy for almost 10 years.
Now a successful entrepreneur, Barnett’s company started at home in his garage. After many failed attempts, support from family and friends, and a Kickstarter campaign showing off his incredible dance moves, he created PopSockets.
The first model was not the same as the ones that we love and see today! Instead, the accordion-like gadget was actually attached to a phone case and was meant to keep your headphones from tangling. The cell phone case design ultimately failed because Barnett realized mobile devices were always changing. Instead of giving up, Barnett removed the case, added a sticky gel pad, and PopSockets took off without a hitch!
How Are PopSockets Made?
According to the PopSockets LLC website, PopSockets are made of "Polycarbonate, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), and polyurethane. Also, love." You know what love is, but long story short, all three of the poly's are fancy words for plastic.
By combining polycarbonate and TPU, you get elasticity and strength. This aids in the flexibility and stability of the accordion-like middle structure of a PopSocket. The polyurethane, on the other hand, helps your PopSocket stick to your phone and ensures that the image printed on it doesn't fade, disappear, or peel off over time.
The PopSocket was originally designed for headphones, which is why it’s built with two grooves that allows the device to pop open. The walls within the accordion design are even more unique because they include flexural hinges. These allow the buttons to extend straight, and curve to different angles depending on the use, and location, of the PopSockets.
How to Attach a PopSocket
It’s pretty simple to attach a PopSocket to your phone. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- #1: Peel back the liner so you can see the adhesive. If it’s hard to peel, dig under with your fingernail.
- #2: Find the best spot on the back of your phone and place the adhesive in that area. Some people believe it’s the middle, while others are more partial to the bottom center. It’s up to what will fit and work most comfortably for you!
- #3: Once you find the right spot for your adhesive, run your finger over it to get rid of any air bubbles.
- #4: Remove the film from the back of the PopSocket and mount it on the adhesive.
- #5: Enjoy using your new PopSocket!
Are PopSockets interchangeable? Absolutely! There are certain styles that allow you to mix-and-match, such as the swappable PopTop. This exclusive accessory is available via the PopSocket website!
What Does a PopSocket Do?
A PopSocket is a fashionable stand that attaches to the back of your phone. It makes it easier for you to prop up your device if you want to watch a viral video or something cool on Netflix. They come in many different sizes, colors, and styles, meaning you’ll find one that fits your personality.
Did you know that PopSockets have also been used in the field of medicine? In fact, the company has supported the Arthritis Foundation, Parkinson’s organizations, Craig Hospital in Denver, and the ALS Association. Something so simple like using a cell phone can be taken for granted. PopSockets grip makes this task easier once again for many people!
PopSockets LLC has received fan mail from people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease expressing their gratitude for the invention. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also been credited as easy to use by the Arthritis Foundation after passing their three-step process, including being tested by the arthritis community. PopSockets LLC is also a supporting sponsor in the Arthritis Foundation’s, "Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis” Campaign. The campaign works to fund research for better treatment options and to hopefully, one day, find a cure.
Whether it’s social media, gaming, videos, or your personal photography, PopSockets make your phone easier to hold onto. With a better grip on your device you can take selfies, text, or make phone calls without the fear of dropping your phone.
It doesn’t matter how long or often you exercise, PopSockets can come in handy! When you’re running, you can now hold your device securely in your hand or you can get a mount and safely secure your mobile device on your bicycle or treadmill.
If you like to fidget, PopSockets are the perfect addition to your phone. Popping and un-popping them helps relieve stress and anxiety. The polyurethane coating means that even if you spin your phone a hundred times, like a fidget spinner, the design will look as good as the day you bought it!
PopSockets teamed up with OtterBox® to create a case with a built-in PopSocket. The best part? It has a swappable PopTop™ that allows you to change the design. While this is only being released for iPhone 7 and newer devices, you can expect to see cases for Samsung devices in the future.
Make Your Promotions Pop!
As PopSockets continue to gain popularity and take the world by storm, it’s no surprise that many industries are adding their brand to this cell phone accessory. A company by the name of iClick has been distributing promotional PopSockets® for big companies such as AT&T, McDonalds, and Starbucks since 2015.
The most common industries that use promotional PopSockets are universities, telecommunications, and healthcare, but many other companies can benefit from this gizmo because it is completely customizable! With different color choices and an almost 2-inch diameter, industries have plenty of room to fit their logo or brand comfortably on the surface of PopSockets.
PopSockets LLC has continued to grow every year since production started and there’s still many phones out there without PopSockets on the back of them. With opportunities for new color options, new styles, and new accessories, the future looks bright for the brand.
The Bottom Line
As long as mobile devices are, in then so are PopSockets! Everyone has a cell phone and uses it at least once a day. Throw on a PopSocket and now that person’s phone is a walking billboard for your brand! PopSockets are unique, customizable, and good for your health! These make excellent gifts for anybody with a mobile device.
Kyrsten’s vast knowledge of promotional giveaways and marketing has led to several hit articles. She has also published work for PPB Magazine, a publication from the Promotional Products Association International.
2017 Colorado Companies to Watch Winners. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://coloradocompaniestowatch.org/winners/2017-winners/
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Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/ease-of-use/home-and-hobbies
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Parkinson's Foundation. (2018, July 10). Retrieved from https://www.parkinson.org/
Gangan, A. (2016, January 20). 10 Uses of PopSockets. Retrieved from https://www.upbeatz.com/blogs/news/73500805-10-uses-of-popsockets
Marbles, J. (2016, July 14). Open Letters. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdq-Nw0HCTE
Our Story. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.popsockets.com/pages/whats-a-popsockets-grip
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Singer, D. (2018, April 30). PopSockets: A Pop Culture Phenomenon from the Brain of a CU Philosophy Professor. Retrieved from https://www.5280.com/2018/04/popsockets-a-pop-culture-phenomon-from-the-brain-of-a-cu-philosophy-professor/
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