Origins: Building a MagicBridge

Origins: Building a MagicBridge

The original MagicWand was released in 2011, and like many Twelve South products, it provided a simple and elegant solution to enhance the experience of using your Apple products. Specifically, MagicWand combined your Apple Magic Keyboard and Trackpad, so that the user could enjoy one beautiful control surface. 

With the introduction of the Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2, we redesigned MagicWand into MagicBridge so that users could still enjoy the seamless experience of using their two devices together. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of MagicBridge, we're taking a behind-the-scenes look with co-founder of Twelve South, Andrew Green, to learn more about the origins of MagicBridge and how it has continued to evolve.

Q: MagicBridge was originally MagicWand. What inspired the product initially?
AG: The Apple Magic Keyboard & Trackpad have always looked like they were "separated at birth" as their design profiles were identical. Many users often work with them both side-by-side and we noticed the desire to have the two devices combined, some users even going so far as duct taping them together! We knew we could come up with a better solution than that so we designed MagicWand to properly combine the two units into one super Apple control surface!   



Q: What was the process like of redesigning MagicWand into MagicBridge?
AG: Although the MagicWand & MagicBridge achieve the same purpose of combining Apple’s Keyboard & Trackpad, their design is completely different. The MagicWand was a tube that the two peripherals snapped into. The MagicBridge ended up being more like a "cage" where both Apple units were held inside.

Q: What's your favorite detail about MagicBridge?
AG: The "grill" on the back of the MagicBridge is awesome because it is deceptively simple. The holes had to expose both the On/Off switch & the Lightning charging port on BOTH the keyboard & trackpad in EITHER the Left or Right positions! 🤯  It was one of those impossible math equations made possible in CAD by adjusting the holes until - SNAP - all possibilities worked!


Q: Why did you decide to make MagicBridge for the extended keyboard?
AG: Customer demand! Here’s a little secret - we’ve had it designed for quite a while but thought it was just too big! We called the prototype “the snowboard”! But customers insisted they wanted it and the footprint of the peripherals are the same anyway. So we listened and put it into production in both White AND Black. The Black version is now my fave! 

Q: What were some of the challenges that arose in designing such a seemingly simple product?
AG: The packaging! We had to order a custom "extra long" shipping box to get the new MagicBridge Extended to customers but around Twelve South, we see that as a good problem to have. ;-)

Q: What's your favorite way to use MagicBridge in your setup?
AG: I've found that I enjoy the mobility that MagicBridge gives to your keyboard and trackpad. By making them one piece, you can easily move them from room to room if you need to migrate your laptop to a different space. I also love that I can set MagicBridge on my lap so I can take a break from leaning over my desk from time to time. Check this out - you can even create an amazing setup with your iPad!



Check out our intro video to see MagicBridge in action!