This Machined, Articulated iPad Stand Looks Kinda Like a Scuplture

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Just like the Hanfree iPad stand we featured back when it was a Kickstarter pipe-dream (it’s real now though), Dave Culter’s Flote iPad stand blends decor, design and device. The result? An iPad stand that lets you position your iPad anywhere you damn well please — and looks good doing it.

Reminiscent of ’50s industrial design, the metal (we’re assuming it’s aluminum alloy), machined stand has an articulated arm that will allow the iPad to be placed in pretty much any position that makes sense for whatever it is you’re doing — pretty handy. If you want one though, you’re going to have to back Dave’s Kickstarter project to the tune of $245.

 

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  • Brandon Dillon

    That price, to me, is somewhat ridiculous. The building costs for this are probably less than a quarter of that.

    With that aside, I do think this is a pretty neat device. I’ve done something similar out of a $10 IKEA lamp that had an adjustable arm on it (kind of like the arm on radio station/podcast mics).

  • Brandon Dillon

    Also a side note, it takes more than just brushed aluminum to compliment Apple products. The cradle of the stand itself has a little too much going on visibly. When I picture how it would be if J. Ive designed it, it’s a little more barebones.

    That’s just my opinion, though I do actually like it, but for that price, I believe it should be a bit more minimalistic.

  • Anthony Gaddis

    Is there a market for this yes. But for that price, I don’t think so. $100 bucks would be a better price. 

  • Dave Cutler

    Hi, I’m the designer and I can tell you that all the parts are machined from aluminum and steel, and that adds up quickly in cost to manufacture. I could have gone for existing plastic parts or cheap metal parts, but that would cheapen the overall design. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that $45 of the $245 price is for shipping via UPS within the U.S. (FLOTE weighs 25 lbs.)

    You could certainly try to build your own (after all I did) but what you’ll learn (as I did) is that without engineering weight distribution and balance, you’ll need an oversized base or deal with a stand that will flip over or fail if not balanced perfectly each time you use it. When you place a $600 device at the end of a stand, you want to feel confident that it will be reliable and solid, particularly when you leave your device in it for extended periods. (Brandon, I’d love to see your $10 IKEA lamp solution in use.) 

    What’s also important to note is that you can adjust the FLOTE pretty freely without tightening or loosening knobs or bolts each time. The Cradle (the part that holds the device) can accomodate a number of devices, with or without a case. That’s pretty cool. That said, I’d like to also simplify its look as well (actually we are working on that for production units).
    Thanks for viewing it and for commenting. 

  • jgr627

    Great project n congrats for getting your goal accomplished…..hope it turns out well for u and your team

  • Mark Huntington

    Hi Dave, cool idea. One thing that might be a potential drawback though is that it seems to take a few seconds to get the iPad in and out of the stand. Why not use the magnets that the iPad uses to attach the case to hold the iPad on your stand instead of the Cradle? I realize that this limits the options in terms of other devices but you gain a lot in terms of usability and simplified design. 

  • porn kan
  • gareth edwards

    Dave man, It’s a really nice idea but it takes up a lot of room (footprint) and I believe it’s not as practical as it could be. Personally, I would rather have an articulated stem (gorilla pod) that offers more flexibility and a very heavy base to negate the need for any type of arm acting as a counter balance. The other aspect that would annoy me with this product is the ‘wobble’. It’s visible in the video a bit but if you’re a ham fisted users, stabbing at the iPad on this device would make it move noticeably. I couldn’t live with this.

    I don’t want to rain on your parade, it’s great that you’re driven to create, but I think this is a very niche product that needs quite a bit of further development to get it to a point where it becomes a great product.

    In short – more articulation, easier to adjust on the fly, better stability, sweeter price.

    Hope these comments are taken as an honest appraisal. :)

  • JacktheMac

    It looks like a neat device, but the price point is way too high. $245 is going to limit the potential market severely (on stage, hospital, industrial, etc). It needs to succeed in a domestic environment if it’s going to achieve volume sales, so it needs to be much cheaper ($150/£100).

    As it will spend most of its life not being used, it should be able to ‘disappear’ quickly and conveniently, or fold down to something compact and storable. Or have a cool case or cover.

    Not sure about those visible springs: very un-Apple.

    But best of luck for a well thought out product.

  • Dave Cutler

    Hi Jack, 

    Thank you for your insightful comments. For what it’s worth, the price for a FLOTE is actually $200. $45 is for shipping via UPS within the U.S. FLOTE weighs 25 lbs. so it is a bear to ship. But that’s what also makes it so solid and stable.

    I’m sensitive to pricing, but from the start I wanted to design something unique, functional and beautifully machined with as little off-the-shelf parts as possible. Understandably there’s a premium for that these days. I would say that it does work nicely into most interiors though, similar to how a high-end designer floor lamp might fit. (We are thinking of eventually adding LED lighting so it can serve a dual purpose.) Lastly, as you can imagine, those springs serve a useful purpose and there is an industrial design element to them which you either enjoy, or not. I like them, and am already working on different model designs that may/may not have them as part of the design.Truly, thank you again for taking some time to comment on FLOTE. Please keep in touch- Dave

  • Cindon83

    PLEASE tell my this is not serious…he wanted to design something that was not “clunky or bulky” GIANT FAIL buddy who wants a microphone stand hanging around your living room or kitchen and move that thing around room to room. 

  • Greg Childress

    Dave has a great working solution.  I wouldn’t let the price point (at this point) be a negative, as the FLOTE has not migrated into the production realm – as I understand it.  Further, if I were to purchase a stand for my “Very un-Apple” Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE, I would not want it to to resemble a 10.00 IKEA Lamp.  Grace, stoic beauty,superior / dependable construction, wrapped in quality fit and finish is always welcome in my home or office.

    Great idea, good luck and when this makes my budget – you can count on a CC Trigger to be pulled from here.

  • Dave Cutler

    Hi Gareth,

    Thanks for your comments which are thoughtful for sure and certainly valid. To me  it’s about balancing aesthetics and functionality. And aesthetics, as you know, can be quite subjective.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of those articulated stems or gooseneck designs, visually speaking. I considered them of course, but I just don’t think that they are elegant. Personally I love the sleekness, clean lines, and delicate nature of FLOTE’s design. Again, it’s subjective. The footprint of the base itself is pretty small- only 12″ in diameter. You do need room though if you intend to rotate the horizontal ‘Boom’ often at a full, or close to, 360º all the time. Otherwise, just like a lamp, you put it where you need it, and rotate it (or slide it) out of the way a bit when not in use. Granted, there is some wobble, but only if the screen is ‘pecked’ at. But for turning a page in an ebook, or watching a movie or even browsing, it works fine, truly, providing a comfortable, hands-free experience. (If you are going to peck often -as in typing an email or document- a simple solution is to use your other hand to gently (I do mean gently) hold the lower corner of the tablet. This stops the wobble completely and requires very little effort.)Thank you again for comments. As Mae West was fond of saying, I’d rather be looked over than overlooked. Best wishes- Dave

  • gareth edwards

    No worries Dave. You’ll have to let everyone on here know how it goes. All the best :)

  • Dave Cutler

    pdm777- try supporting your $600 device at the end of mic stand and see what happens as you really start using it. Try positioning it however you want without having to adjust knobs each time. (Then again, what have you designed and put out there?)

    I believe FLOTE is an elegant solution. Sorry you don’t. 

  • Dave Cutler

    Thanks jrg627! Appreciated.

  • Dave Cutler

    Thanks jrg627! Appreciated.

  • Dave Cutler

    Hi Brandon- please see my reply to your comments up above.

  • Dave Cutler

    Good suggestion Mark, but magnets are not powerful enough to hold the iPad securely, especially in some orientations (looking down). Also, they get even weaker when you’ve got the device in a case. I’m a big fan of of designing  something that didn’t require removing your device from a case each time you wanted to use it.

  • Dave Cutler

    As I mentioned to Brandon and others, for what it’s worth, the price for a FLOTE is actually $200. $45 is for shipping via UPS within the U.S. FLOTE weighs 25 lbs. so it is a bear to ship. But that’s what also makes it so solid and stable.I’m sensitive to pricing, but from the start I wanted to design something unique, functional and beautifully machined with as little off-the-shelf parts as possible. Understandably there’s a premium for that these days. You either find it worth it, or not. Thanks again though for commenting- Dave

  • Dave Cutler

    Thanks Gareth-

  • Cindon83

    I already have a device to hold my iPad I call them HANDS and ARMS!

  • Cindon83

    Just purchase a $29.99 griffen mic stand mount and a $29.00 armed mic stand from Guitar Center and your good to go for $60.00 http://store.griffintechnology

  • Nicholas Pausch

    it certainly looks like a customized mic stand as others have stated..

  • Doug

    When I first saw this, I thought it was a joke. But when I read the comments and the replies from the inventor, it reminded me of the people that never make it through that first audition on American Idol, and leave the audition screaming at the camera telling all of America what a mistake they made and how they’ll be a star one day and that Idol will regret not letting them compete. With due respect to the time and effort you’ve put into it, if anyone is telling you this can be a mainstream product, or that people would actually want or buy this in any kind of quantities that would make mass production worth it, they’re either lying, pulling your leg, or just being extremely nice. If you want feedback, take the feedback. But it sounds like, for every negative comment, you must defend yourself, your product, your logic, etc. Every place the iPad can function where the hands are needed for something else, there’s a bracket/stand for that (kitchen/recipe use and musician use come to mind). For most other things, the iPad is designed to be in the hand, not projected over a bed or couch or rolled across the room. Here’s hoping others will come along and tell you the truth so you don’t get your hopes up prematurely.

  • Dave Cutler

    Thanks Doug (I think). Actually I think it’s doing pretty OK over at Kickstarter for a project not yet featured. I’ve got 39 backers so far, had two inquires about distribution/bulk sales, and lots of supportive comments from complete strangers. Maybe it won’t make it; maybe it will. Crazier stuff has happened for sure.

    My replies to the more critical comments here are meant to explain possible misunderstandings about how FLOTE functions and to explain openly about my thinking behind the design approach I took. I know quite well that it’s not for everybody. I think there’s a need; you don’t. That said, it doesn’t mean that referring to it as a joke or posting disparaging remarks about the product (or me for that matter) in a public forum is required, either. It’s like you’re angry or something. I’m certainly not. In fact, I’m enjoying dialogue about something I created, be it positive or negative.

  • cbreitel

    Um, please note: The Hanfree “pipe dream that is now a reality” is back to being a pipe dream. Not only did the Kickstarter project fail, but after the pledges were funded, the money is now gone and the backers have all been deprived of their funds. 

  • Doug

    As someone who has designed and solicited feedback on a product, I’d like to think I have a touch of credibility when it comes to dealing with feedback. I would never have known about this product if it wasn’t for someone who sent it to me thinking it was a joke, which is why I thought it was a joke at first (someone sending it to me thinking it was a joke should speak volumes to you right off the bat, but against my better judgement, I’ll continue to respond). I have nothing to gain one way or the other, I’m certainly not angry, and I find it interesting you would refer to my comments as “disparaging” as you reply to someone with “Then again, what have you designed and put out there?” Not sure that could be taken any other way than a slight and a belittlement of someone’s feedback.

    I actually have “designed and put out there,” so I know what it feels like more than most people posting to get the good, bad and ugly of responses to a product idea. Like I said, if you don’t want the feedback, don’t solicit it. But if you do, don’t automatically consider negative comments as “disparaging.” The best thing the friends of some of the American Idol contestants could’ve done was to tell their friends, long before they auditioned, “hey man, I love you, but you can’t sing.” That’s not “negative” or “disparaging,” that’s just good advice.

    That’s what I, anger and disparaging free, want to tell you about your product. I could beat around the bush about it, but I wouldn’t do that with my friends and I’m not going to do that with you. When it comes to your product, sincere as you may be, it can’t sing. And anyone whistling a different tune your way is pumping you with false hope. I certainly realize no product is “for everybody,” but for a product to have even a modicum of success, it has to be for at least enough people so that you can get the price point to a reasonable level, and I would argue that not only is this product not going to suit enough people, but that the glut of iPad, tablet and e-reader aftermarket holders/brackets/covers is already overwhelming, and prices on those will continue to drop as some tablets and e-readers have broken below the $100 mark. And people who pay $100 or $200 for the tablet/reader itself will certainly not pay $200+ for an accessory to an item that costs more than the item itself.

    I don’t think people intend to give false hope, but they do. Sincere encouragement can be sincerely misdirected, and I hope, for your sake (not mine), that you don’t find yourself down the product development path full of hope but void of paying customers.

  • Dave Cutler

    FLOTE was recently described as “an elegant iPad stand that even Jonathan Ive would approve of.” over at iPADCreative.com. FLOTE was also just featured on SF Bay Area TV news tech segment, which you can view at http://bit.ly/vaJtMZ. Also, among other great reviews, SoFreakinNeat.com said of FLOTE “Remarkable idea, whimsical and practical at the same time.”

  • Tedd Riggs

    Stunning and practical design. I hope you do well with this, I would love it of music and ebooks !