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Kiwi inventor of USB adapter seeks $15,000 on Kickstarter

Ryo, an adapter that allows you to stick your USB stick into a socket any way around, is the latest Kiwi gadget to use the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to (hopefully) gain global recognition and financial aid.

The ryo Kickstarter campaign – for $15,000  – launches on March 9, with inventor Julian Chow hoping to see the first units delivered by September 2015 – if he gets the funding.

Anyone pledging $15 will receive three Ryo units.

The ryo adapter grew out of Julian Chow’s frustrations of putting USBs in the wrong way.

“I was really frustrated reaching over the back of my computer to plug in my USB and I hit my head, there were so many chords back there are it was getting really tangled”.

After searching online and finding nothing, he started thinking how he could create a product that could solve the problem.

Chow says jamming your USB into your laptop or computer can damage the USB ports and make them unusable. The ryo prevents this too.

He says the design went through four different prototypes and five months of work.

The name was chosen because some of the design team were Japanese.

“Ryo actually came from the Japanese word Ry?h? which actually means both ways,” says Chow.

Having already generated interest abroad with technology bloggers, Chow hopes the Kickstarter campaign will generate interest on home soil too.

“We’ve actually gone to Kickstarter because we require $15,000 for the final set of models, to try raise those funds and to be able to create the product in bulk.”

“We thought what better way to present this product then bring it to Kickstarter as this is the type of demographic we’re going after and we can test the market”

Chow’s long term goal of Chow is to take ryo to retail; that will need around $100,000, he says.

Recently graduated from AUT's journalism undergraduate programme, Catrin has a unhealthy love of dogs, sun, beaches, and coffee. She's also Welsh and proud to let you know it.

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