Unlace: A colorful twist on cord detangling

Kickstarter campaign features a simple but innovative twistable rubber tie for untangling knotty problems with cords, cables, or any other loose end driving you mad.

Unlace
James Martin/CNET

I had the worst case of headphone cord tangle on Friday, and wouldn't you know it? Just as I had finished unwinding and unknotting, a co-worker showed up at my desk with two samples of the Unlace, a colorful and rubbery new twistable detangler that just kicked off a funding run on Kickstarter.

If I'd had these twisties sooner, I could have prevented my most recent cord conundrum, but oh well... I'm excited to have them around for future knotty situations.

Unlace
The Unlace Project

Inspired by the look of a shoelace, the Unlace comes in two sizes -- a 5-incher for earbuds and similarly sized cords, and a 10-incher for power cords and other burly cables. The longer Unlace can even be configured into an impromptu smartphone stand. Both sizes come in eight colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, blue, green, silver, and black.

Plenty of solutions already exist for cord tangle -- magnets and plastic spools , for example, plus lots of DIY methods. But these stand out as a simple yet innovative answer -- to my tangled brain, at least.

They have a nice sturdy feel, like they could endure endless twisting torture without weakening or breaking. And I like that they come in bright colors, making them to easy to spot in overstuffed purses, backpacks, and laptop bags. If you don't want to bother digging inside a bag, they'd be easy to twist around your wrist or case strap. Heck, they'd even work as an on-the-fly hair accessory!

The Unlace Project is the brainchild of San Francisco-based friends Dante Pauwels, a Stanford-trained product designer, and Cindy Glass, a financial analyst turned entrepreneur. "We love our iPhones," Pauwels said. "But when we pull those earbuds out of our bags and discover nothing but tangles? Instant frustration."

The two recently started a tech accessories company, Unplugged Goods, and posted the Unlace Project on Kickstarter, where they are as of this writing just dollars away from reaching their $10,000 goal to fund the product's first production run and defray early manufacturing costs. Pledges starting at $20 will get you Unlace packs of varying numbers and colors. Knot bad.

Unlace
CNET photographer James Martin tried an Unlace for tidying up his laptop cords. James Martin/CNET

 

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