I visited the Brooklyn offices of a prominent technology influencer last week and was surprised to see that the man worked at his desk on a MacBook Air. That minuscule screen is great for computing on planes, trains, and automobiles–but why would you want to squint at it day in and day out at your own desk? Of course, given how irritatingly cumbersome most laptop docking stations are to get in and out of, it’s easy to understand why people don’t bother. LandingZone, a Kickstarter-funded docking station for MacBook Air, aims to solve this problem by making it easy to connect your ultraportable to normal-sized peripherals like keyboards and monitors.
Kitae Kwon, a semiconductor engineer, wanted a docking station “that’s just as beautiful and functional” as the MacBook Air you plug into it, but none existed that were up to his standards. So he designed a simple latching mechanism that secures the laptop’s main ports all in one shot. Instead of messing around with multiple external dongles, or jiggling your laptop to make sure all the connections are in place, you just swing a lever: one way to dock, the other way to release. No fuss, no muss.
If that sounds mundane, well… it is. But these mundane interactions make up much of the day-to-day grind of using technology. Designing these interactions to be as ergonomic and effortless as possible helps technology get out of our way, so we can focus on doing stuff with it. This is the same thinking that led Apple to introduce MagSafe cords to its laptops; Kwon has simply (and humanely) extended it to docking stations. As of this writing, he’s a little more than halfway to his $50,000 funding goal–here’s hoping he makes it all the way.