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Phubby - The Wrist Cubby

According to the Federal Reserve, small businesses have created 64 percent of America's new jobs in the past 15 years and employ about half of the nation's private-sector work force.

But it's the ingenuity and persistence of these individuals that's really fun to see in action. For example, South Mill Design, a small company based near Princeton, N.J., has developed a wrist pouch called Phubby -- the phone cubby.

What's fun about the Phubby Sport product is seeing the thought and effort put into working the design to address the needs of today's users, especially using devices like the iPhone with larger touch screens -- but also for iPods and other portable devices.

Yes, today's phones and smartphones are typically small and thin, so they can fit reasonably on your wrist. But you don't want a wrist wrap to be bulky or in the way, so the Phubby is only 4 1/2 inches long, and comes in three wrist sizes (cleverly measured compared to wrapping a dollar bill around your wrist).

And for active use, like jogging or even surfing, you don't want a heavy material, so the Phubby is made from a thin Lycra / Spandex mesh fabric that breathes and can handle getting wet..

Plus, you may have other things to carry like keys, money, or credit cards, so the Phubby has two pockets, so you can carry your phone on the inside of your wrist and other stuff on the outside. Other uses for the second pocket include photographers carrying spare memory cards for their cameras.

But how can you answer the phone if it's in a wrist pouch? First, set it on vibrate, since you will have no trouble sensing it against your wrist. Then, the mesh fabric used for the Phubby actually allows you to check the call even while the phone is still tucked away -- you can see who's calling through the material, and even operate the touchscreen. Then answer the call on a Bluetooth headset, or pull out the phone. (The mesh is not transparent, however, so you can't really read entire screens though it, though you can see enough to answer calls.)

So can the phone be tucked away securely on your wrist, yet also still be easy to remove quickly? Yes, both pockets have flaps to help secure the contents, plus the phone pocket has a Velcro clasp. Then to remove the phone quickly, the Phubby label cleverly doubles as a pull-tab, so you can pop the Velcro and peel down the side to access the phone.

The Phubby is a clever design, especially as active wear, but also useful for people like hospital patients who want to keep a phone and other small items easily accessible. It's available for $12.95 in a variety of colors and patterns. There's also a Hip Cubby design for $34.95.

See my Portable Peripherals and Accessories Gallery for more on these and related products.

    Find the Phubby phone cubby on Amazon.com

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