After releasing a simple dongle that finally let the Nintendo Switch connect to wireless headphones, Human Things is back with another product that vastly improves the console’s portability. The Genki Covert Dock replaces the Switch’s charger and TV dock with a streamlined wall adapter that does everything.
Soon after the Switch was released it was discovered that its bulky dock, which allowed the console to be connected to a TV, couldn’t be replaced with one of the existing USB-C to HDMI cable adapters already available for phones and tablets. It didn’t take long for third-party accessory makers to figure out how to replicate what the Switch’s TV dock was doing, and releasing much smaller solutions, but none of them promise as much functionality as Human Things new Genki Covert Dock in such a compact package.
The adapter looks no bigger than the USB-C wall wart Nintendo includes for charging the Switch, but it adds an extra USB 3.1 port for charging other devices like a smartphone, and an HDMI port for connecting the Switch to a TV while its battery is being replenished. You’ll need to remember to bring the requisite cables, but the Genki Covert Dock, which uses Gallium Nitride instead of silicon so there’s more room inside for additional electronics, should take up considerably less room in your daypack or carry-on.
It’s not only compatible with the Nintendo Switch, though. The Genki Covert Dock can also be used with smartphones and tablets (both Android and iOS devices) that support connectivity to an external monitor or display, including laptops. When connecting the Switch to a TV the Covert Dock does need to be plugged in, but for other mobile devices it doesn’t require access to an outlet—it should grab all the power it needs from the device itself.
It seems like it could be a must-have accessory for Switch fans who travel, making it easier to connect the console to a friend’s or a hotel room’s TV. But even if your Switch never leaves the house, swapping out the portable’s included wall wart with the Genki Covert Dock will give you an extra USB port for charging another device, and you can never have too many of those.
So what’s the catch? Like the Genki Bluetooth dongle, Human Things has chosen to bring this product to consumers through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that’s looking to raise a modest $50,000 in funding. There’s always a risk that a product launched this way may never see the light of day, or be subjected to lengthy delays, but the company’s previous Kickstarter campaign was a success, it fulfilled all the orders to those who had backed it, and presumably it learned something about the process along the way. Early-bird backers can pre-order the Genki Covert Dock for $49, with delivery expected to come as early as December of this year. You can always hold off on pre-ordering until reviews of the hardware are published, but you can expect the price to be considerably more after the Kickstarter campaign closes.