Through an acquaintance at work I have come across Jeffrey Matthias of Furnlab who does some really unique and quite awesome wood work. Jeffrey is a quirky industrial designer who has a multitude of skills ranging from mechanics to sculpting . Among his work is furniture design and as of the last few months, iPhone skins. These real wood skins can be either chosen from a variety of designs or customized with an image of your choosing. What I think is really neat is the way he uses a dot like printing process he calls xylotones. While it is not completely clear whether the customized image skins would be done using the xylotone process, a couple of the designs he offers such as “Stormy” or “Chrysler Building” are done with this process. You can currently purchase these skins for the iPhone 4 and 4s.
In anticipation of the iPhone 5, Jeffrey has teamed with Robyn Meier of I’ve Got Wood and kickstarter.com to create a real wood iPhone 5 skin that can be obtained for a fair pledge. Robyn Meier and Jeffrey Matthias are industrial designers based out of Denver. Both designers work with CNC and laser technologies to produce custom wood products. Having known each since design school, they are collaborating on their first commercial product. Once the iPhone 5 is released , lately rumored to be September 12th, the team will design the new skin and ship a limited quantity out within 5 days of release. Let just hope Apple will continue to use the flat back type design as rumored or this idea could be shot in the foot. The latest rumors suggest it should go off without a hitch.
Having personally seen one of these skins in use in my office, I have to say it is impressive how well it holds up. Initially I would have been skeptical that the adhesive would come lose, but the adhesive shows no sign of coming lose after 6 months of use and counting.Joe Hoffman