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Student, alumnus create Trubador

A UNF student and a UNF alumnus worked together to create a versatile, hands-free case for the iPad.The device, called Trubador, is a cover that was primarily designed for musicians and people on the go. The case comes with an adjustable strap, allowing for the user to have both hands to use the iPad more efficiently.

Patrick Duffy, a UNF electrical engineering junior, is a friend with Casey Ayers, an entrepreneur, technology consultant and UNF alumnus. They are working together to successfully raise money and awareness for their product.

During Spring Break, they attended a concert in which singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton used a homemade synthesizer box. Ayers and Duffy then thought of the iPad and how people can now use it for GarageBand, an application that allows users to create and share music.

Ayers said they wondered, “Why not use the iPad as an instrument?” The idea continued to grow from that point.

Trubador was specifically created with musicians in mind, Duffy said. Those interested in using the iPad as an instrument will be able to freely play it with both hands when using Trubador.

Ayers said he believes instrumentalists, with the use of Trubador, can play the iPad with both hands while performing in concerts.

Duffy said he and Ayers agree Trubador is not restricted to musicians. He said he foresees people in the medical field, especially doctors, using Trubador.

He said reporters are going paperless, so when using the iPad, they will need a way to hold it up and type on it conveniently at the same time. He said teachers and auto service mechanics could also benefit from Trubador.

Many iPad cases available simply protect the iPad from damage but do not add to its usability. Users either have to lay the iPad down on a flat surface and bend over while typing on it, or the user has to hold the iPad with one hand and is only able to scroll or type with the other hand.

Trubador has an adjustable strap, is made of nylon and is compatible with both the iPad and iPad 2. In addition to a kickstand, the case has two useful inclinations for the iPad. Ayers and Duffy designed the first inclination for web browsing; the second inclination setting is for mainly for watching video content.

Trubador began selling in March on Kickstarter, a website that allows individuals to raise money for their new products. The going rate is $40 for one case and $75 for two. Ayers and Duffy are promoting the case on Kickstarter, as well.

Ayers said if he and Duffy are able to raise $15,000 by Aug. 1, then Kickstarter will fund their product. Trubador has reached over 24 percent of funding in the months it has been advertised on Kickstarter.

Ayers said he believes any individuals who are not certain about Trubador should join in the effort.

“If we’re successfully funded, you’ll receive an awesome product and be a critical contributor in bringing our dream to life,” he said. “If we’re not, you won’t be charged a cent, so there’s nothing to lose. Your pledges help motivate others to pledge; every dollar does count.”

Jesse Flach, a UNF history education junior, owns an iPad and said he uses it constantly. He researched Trubador extensively.

“It would be good for a history major like myself to take effective notes while touring historical sites,” he said.

Trubador has received a lot of media coverage lately. It has been advertised on Twitter and Facebook. Time, Wired, the Jacksonville Business Journal and First Coast News are just a few examples of the media that have all featured the product.

Ayers said many people, including severl musicians, are interested in Trubador after hearing about it through the media.

“The response we’ve received thus far has been incredible,” he said. “We’ve seen a spike in pledges each time there is new coverage about Trubador. We are grateful that many media outlets have seen Trubador’s unique benefit and have chosen to share it with their audiences.”

Duffy he’s extremely optimistic about his and Duffy’s invention.

Ayers said he hopes to sustain the support Trubador has received and keep moving forward.

“Trubador definitely seems to have captured many people’s imaginations,” he said. “If anything, we’re even more optimistic than when we embarked on the project. The odds are really good in our favor.”

60 backers have pledged to help Patrick Duffy and Casey Ayers and have raised
$3,766 out of the goal of $15,000

Source: thetrubador.com as of June 19, 2011

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