iPad Stand for the People

Canadian inventor Bernie Graham and Seattle based industrial designer Jim Young have collaborated (entirely over the internet) to come up with a groundbreaking stand for iPads (and all other tablet, e-readers, and even smartphones). PadPivot is a hands-free stand that can sit on your lap or rest on a table and may very well change the way that you use your iPad.

Their idea emerged from their own experiences with tablets—what they agreed upon was that iPads were best used when propped on a lap. However, in order to prevent your pricey investment from tumbling onto the ground and into oblivion, you have to keep a hand on your iPad which ultimately limits your freewheeling experience. The two met on a social design website and thus developed the PadPivot without actually ever meeting each other.

The PadPivot has a curved surface that rests on your thigh (or can be placed on a table). This surface has two notches where you can place your iPad—and the second component of the PadPivot sits behind and provides support so that your iPad does not topple over. The adjustability of the PadPivot allows you to fiddle with it until you and your iPad are kicking back in the most ideal position possible.

While the PadPivot does boast an impressively simple but practical design, perhaps what is most extraordinary about the efforts of Graham and Young is that they have funded its production through Kickstarter—a unique website that allows individuals to propose a variety of projects (ranging from recording a CD to building a RoboCop statue in Detroit) for strangers to sponsor. Every Kickstarter project offers rewards for individuals who have pledged money for projets. The individuals behind a project will set a certain financial goal—and only if that goal is met by a certain time will their project become officially bankrolled.

Graham and Young started out with the ambitious goal of raising $10,000. With 17 more days until the funding deadline ends, they have, as of today, raised the staggering amount of $92,451. Undoubtedly, part of the appeal in funding their project is that a $25 pledge sends a PadPivot to your home address when production has finished in April. Many participants have pledged even more money—with 56 individuals pledging $500. As you increase in pledge size, your reward increases proportionally.

Support for PadPivot is largely due to the practicality of the device. The awkwardness of holding the iPad has been something of a blight ever since its introduction, and PadPivot offers an inexpensive, convenient remedy.

But support for this endeavor must also be inspired by the creativity and proactiveness of the developers. Instead of idly waiting for financial backing, they sought it directly from consumers. Kickstarter provides a unique platform for this kind of tech innovation. While most of its proposals have been for artistic endeavors, it would not be a surprise if more developers follow after Graham and Young’s model. Kickstarter not only allows developers more exposure but also it allows consumers to feel that they are a part of the creative process.

For the next 16 days and counting, pledge $25 and get your very own PadPivot shipped for free.