Let’s be frank: most of us usually lie down on our beds after a hard day’s of work and watch stuff on YouTube or any of our favourite (maybe) legal streaming sites using our smartphone or tablet. What suffer the most in the process are our arms and hands that bear their weight.
Now comes the D-One, a swivelling lightweight gadget that solves this issue by attaching itself onto any hard surface with a clamp on one end, and holds your smart device on another end using awesome German-engineered nano-suction technology. It can safely hold big or small devices in place, and can also clamp itself onto office desks, conference room surfaces and in the bathroom.
The people behind this spiffy piece of work is a three-person group called DE51GN (that’s ‘design’, not ‘de-fifty-one-ghn’). It consists of Kevin Cole, Jacob Joseph Puthenparambil, and Martin Fritzsche. Puthenparambil, who works from Singapore, told e27 that the idea came about because both he and Kevin were PR professionals and heavy iPad users. “Skype/Facetime calls always were shaky or had a focus on our nostril, and posture (constant looking down) were the main drivers. Since both of us also had an active interest in financial markets, having a second screen at eye level also was an incentive.” (Sic)
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Puthenparambil said that the idea came full circle during their time at Germany’s Technical University Dresden, the school he studied and lectured at. “Over the past one year, over numerous chats, drawings and consultations with engineers and material experts led us to the D-One concept. We were able to work out the optimal materials and ensure the product will be made in Germany.” But perhaps the biggest reason the three-man group is making it is because they wanted something like it for themselves.
Admittedly, Puthenparambil said that the German angle happened by accident. “On one of my university visits, the guesthouse was full and I decided to try Airbnb. I ended up staying with Martin and his girlfriend at their apartment, who were students in the university.” He proceeded to show Fritzsche an early D-One prototype who suggested improvements and brought him to various German engineering workshops to make the improvements.
“I was struck by the amount of time each of the workshops spent with us,” said Puthenparambil. “They suggested a lot of changes, to design and material. One thing that stood out was their passion for quality and developing a product that will last for a really long time. We are now tempted to give life time warranty once we retail.” Apart from how German engineering handles these fine details, he said that the country’s engineers have the entire product cycle within its borders, from initial design to shipping.
Right now, if you’re into using a nifty device that makes your iPhone/iPad viewing hands-free and in place, the D-One Kickstarter page is up and running. It’s at £2,954 (US$4,948) and has ways to go before reaching past its £35,000 (US$58,622) goal with 27 days left. The gadget will be going global if fully funded; that includes Southeast Asia, where smartphone penetration has been rising the most as of late.