Last week, I came across the video below, and it made me wonder how this smartphone holder worked. The stop-motion animation shows both metal and plastic objects clinging to the holder’s surface, so magnetism was out. I tweeted about it, Ideasbynet offered to send me a sample. It arrived today, and I think I have it figured out now.
The holder itself is made out of plastic, but the dark rectangle on the front is silicone. That patch of silicone isn’t sticky (no glue), but it offers extreme friction. And because it’s at an angle, gravity pushes your device onto it. The result is that the phone doesn’t slide off, but seems to levitate. Nifty.
My HTC Desire has a camera that extrudes slightly, so the back of the phone is not entirely flat. Because of this, the total contact area between phone and holder is smaller, but it still sticks perfectly. I can’t turn the holder upside-down, like with the iPhone 4 in the video, but I wasn’t planning to anyway.
Unfortunately, ideasbynet only sells these in quantities of 100 or more. So you’ll have to talk your boss into giving them out as promotional gifts, or at Christmas or something. Shouldn’t be too hard, given the holder’s geeky appeal, or should I say “gravitational pull”?