David Weinstock, the creator of the great abstract strategy game Zoxso, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for something else entirely: the Thinket. So what is it?
It’s a great little fidget toy you can keep on your desk or in your pocket, and it has a good bit of heft and a very satisfying bounce when you click it. It comes in two pieces, a small metal rod and a heavy tube. (For scale, the rod is about 2.5″ long, and the tube is 1.5″ long.)And what does it do?
Well, it clicks back and forth, thanks to a powerful magnet in the rod and the two steel ends of the tube. The rod “locks” into place sticking out one side, and when you push the end, it jumps out to the other end. Basically it’s a button to push, something to channel all your fidgety nervous energy into, maybe akin to the reusable bubble wrap keychain. It’s a stress-relief device of sorts.
The rod also comes all the way apart, and as Weinstock demonstrates in his Kickstarter video, you can do a lot of little tricks with it, spinning it and manipulating it. If you’re the sort of person who needs to fiddle with something all the time, this is great for keeping your hands occupied while you’re doing something else: talking on the phone, playing a board game, and so on. (The instructions do include some “Thinketiquette” because you don’t want to drive other people nuts.)
According to the little pamphlet that came with the sample Weinstock sent me, the Thinket Quantum-Ripple Generator “sends out wave after wave of pure quantum-ripples,” guaranteed to alter your path in space-time! Now, the manufacturer can’t tell you exactly how it works (that’s proprietary information, of course), but they do ensure that anyone who uses their device “will have a different future than they would have had, had they not chosen to use it.” Ok, so that’s a little bit of silliness, but the truth is it’s a really fun gadget.
I love the sample—when I can get it away from my kids. There’s the usual pull of a magnet-based device combined with an industrial-machine aesthetic. Stick one of these on your desk at work and you’ll certainly get people asking you what it is, and pretty soon they’ll be generating some quantum ripples of their own. (It’s okay, though: I don’t think you’ll run out.)
Weinstock has been assembling them himself and selling them on his website. To celebrate getting a patent on it, he’s running a Kickstarter campaign so that he can afford a larger manufacturing run and retail packaging so he can work toward getting the Thinket into stores. The prices for the Kickstarter versions are comparable to his online store but will come with the finished packaging plus a different sort of finish. If the campaign does well enough, Weinstock also has some additional ideas in mind for other add-ons to the Thinket.
The estimated delivery date is December, so perhaps a little early holiday shopping is in order? Visit the Kickstarter page for more details.