UpperCup: iPhone Case That Is Also A Cup Holder

2/4/13 10:03AM EST

uppercup UpperCup: iPhone Case That Is Also A Cup Holder

What started off as a joke for a Dutch marketing firm could become a marketable product if it receives $25,000 in pledges through crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The product—an iPhone case with a cup holder—is touted by Natwerk as the answer to coffee spillage occurring while texting. The UpperCup iPhone case is more than two inches thick, but has a slide-out cup holder perfect for holding a cup of coffee while using both hands to text or play a video game.

Drink freely while you tap without spilling coffee on your lap,” a voice sings in the product video’s jingle. “Finally what we’ve been waiting for, the UpperCup will change your world and more.”

Amsterdam-based Natwerk is seeking to raise $25,000 on Indiegogo to send the UpperCup into production. Backers can pledge $25 and receive an UpperCup for an iPhone 4 as early as April, or $30 to reserve their own iPhone 5 Uppercup case. Those wanting to equip their family with Uppercups can pledge $65 and receive 3 iPhone 4 cases—a $10 discount.

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In its Jan. 24 article, the Los Angeles Times indicated “it’s not clear if this is a publicity stunt for Natwerk or if it is a legitimate business idea.” At the same time, countless other media sources—including Cult of Mac and Buzzfeed— ran with the story. But blogger Paul McNamara was skeptical. He emailed Natwerk, asking if the release was a joke or a publicity stunt. Natwerk spokeswoman Kristian van Kuijk replied to the affirmative.

The fact that we’ve made the whole thing about 3 times as thick as necessary we hoped would give away we weren’t all that serious,” van Kuijk said. “Nevertheless, we really think it is a cool device and we would really want to have it produced so we can walk around and be cool with it attached to our iPhones.”

And although the crowdfunding effort has currently garnered only $790 of the $25,000 sought to produce the UpperCup line—including a $605 pledge from an anonymous joker—Natwerk now plans to move ahead with the project should it raise adequate funding.

“We didn’t expect it to get so much attention as it does now,” van Kuijk said. “We have a range of products we develop in between jobs. It is a good practice and keeps the creativity flowing in our company. On top of that we really like having a laugh over stupid ideas. We did this for the fans who follow us, they will understand it is a joke. When we came up with the idea, we thought it would be extra funny to tell people that we have been walking around with this great concept for a long time, but now, thanks to internet crowd funding it was finally possible to make it into reality.”

[Image via Indiegogo/UpperCup]

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