Garrett Brown

Filmmaker and Inventor

Wanted: A Brilliant iPad Arm


Books are, in effect, 'entertainment payloads' of various weights and sizes.  So are electronic viewing devices such as Kindles and iPads; and all of them–absenta desk, lectern or bookstand–must be hand-supported to be enjoyed.

The optimal human viewing angle, however, is 10° to 20° below your 'eye-line' without bending your neck.  Arms quickly become tired at that height, so the ‘payload’ eventually settles down onto a table or your lap–at an unhealthy neck angle.

Movies and videos are increasingly viewed on tablets–frequently while reclining or lying in bed–so holding them up for the duration is even more tiring and they end up bolstered with pillows or perched on knees.

A truly satisfying way to 'float' these iPad-type devices, effortlessly at any position and attitude, remains frustratingly out of reach.  A look at existing support-arm technology suggests why: 

  • Articulated arms with locking joints are prone to resonant vibrations and require distinct unlocking and re-locking maneuvers at each joint to be repositioned.
  • ‘Equipoising' parallelogram arms fight gravity with springs but remain bouncy (unlike frictionlessly ‘iso-elastic’ Steadicam® arms).
  • ‘Flexible stalk’ arms are snake-like columns, forcibly twisted and bent to position a tablet, but clumsy and awkward to change.

All of the above are large, heavy and un-foldably inconvenient for travelers.  Their primitive mounts can't grab vertical boards or pipes and their device ‘grabbers’ tend to be restrictive, fussy, floppy or all the above.

Also, typically, they are extraordinarily ugly and unwelcome among one's domestic or professional furniture.

What's missing is an elegant payload support arm that is ultra-light, ultra-slim and ultra-rigid, yet folds improbably small for travel.

What's missing is an attractive support arm that can instantly position iPads and other tablets. to show visual media in bedrooms or boardrooms to viewers who are standing, seated or reclining–and silently re-orient its screen to share (or restrict) the view in any direction.

What’s particularly missing is an elevating support arm for Skype and FaceTime—because we look great from slightly above and not so great from below!

What's needed is a mounting clamp that grabs most vertical or horizontal surfaces or pipes and stows companionably around its folded arm..

What's incidentally needed is an easy way to run a charging cable to a tablet w/out requiring extra clips or tiresome re-threading.

What’s particularly missing is an effortless way to read in bed without disturbing a partner—silently, in the dark, white type on black!

And finally, even more particularly, we need an iPad support arm that is beautiful…

by Garrett Brown and Jerry Holway