Thursday, February 12, 2015

Calling Inventors -- Car Phone Mounts

I'm breaking my trend of scripture commentary to cite a frustrating issue with phone mounts for cars. If you are a school looking to invent in order to fund yourselves, a home hobbiest that knows how to fabricate without it looking ugly, or a designer looking to make a name for yourself, please read....

All of the solutions available on the net (I checked page after page on Amazon) have various drawbacks. One of the biggest being poor quality materials that easily break. I have also noted from my own (negative) experiences in buying these things that regardless of whether it attaches to the car with sticky silicon, adhesive, suction cups, or anything else, within less than one hour the device loses its grip. Sunlight, heat, stresses on dash from turning, all of those are suspect as culprits as well as bad and cheap product design.

At the other end, where the phone attaches, is another whole problem. Sudden stops, starts, turns, etc., all affect whatever design I've tried. The phone either drops out of its hold or goes flying somewhere in the car.

Besides cheap plastic, here are other issues I’ve noted: Making anything out of black-colored floppy silicon is a VERY BAD idea. Making the part that grips the phone loop over to the front of the phone could potentially cause stress marks on the front glass.

Add my personal experience to a multitude of bad reviews on Amazon for just about every product-solution for phone mounts and what you have is a huge opportunity to make something worthwhile and make money. I wish I had the tools, knowledge, and resources to do it myself.

Ideas On Solutions
Solution must have sufficient counter-weight to lay on dashboard without sliding or raising up when attaching phone or from force of turns, stops and acceleration. (Perhaps attaching the holder to a universal dashboard mat (cover) would be one idea.)

Telescoping so that you can bring it into touchscreen finger reach without awkward stretching

Height adjustable from above the horizontal plane of where the device sits to below that plane.

The telescoping arm should be able to pan from side to side.

Final joint is a ball joint allowing angle adjustments and full rotation.

All joints should lock in place and, especially for the phone, have a quick-release.

The materials used should be strong enough that the weight of the phone does not cause the whole unit to sag over time. (I have experiences where the phone was set at a comfortable position but everything from the potholes in the road to heat from the sun affected the unit and the phone sagged so that I couldn't see it without raising it up.)

By the way: In California windshield mounts are illegal. Not sure what other states have laws affecting the design. The design should also not affect full & clear forward visibility nor block the rear-view mirror.

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