Using nature as a role model, ZBAM Designs uses biomimicry to create an amazing mount.
While attending CES 2017, walking throughout the Sands Expo center, I stumbled across a booth demonstrating colorful octopus accessories. With iPhones and cameras dangling from the devices, I needed to know more. I was able to talk to Elon Zucker, CMO and Founder of ZBAM. Through this amazing conversation, I was able to learn a little about the company, the products and about the company mission, to “make lasting products that inspire creativity for all by using the highest quality materials.”
The company, out of Tel Aviv, introduced their first product 3 years ago, the StickO. They started their kickstarter and quickly raised $50,000, selling out of the initial run of 5000 units. This device proved to be a huge success, selling 500,000 units. They are still available for purchase for $14.95 for a double pack and remain a very popular device. The interesting aspect of the Sticko is it is a double sided suction cup with nearly limitless utility. The tiny suction cups can hold roughly 2kg or nearly 4 lb. You can use them, as they are, to suction to a window/smooth surface and directly attach your phone. Attach your phone to a window, to your microwave glass, to your counter top or other similarly smooth surface. Learn to cook with recipe apps, receive hands free navigation (safely and if allowed by your state) or attach the suction cups together and make a kickstand. The device has a clever flexible connector that allows you to make a taller single suction cup device.
Each device has 4 suction cups, measures 0.74″ x .55″ x 0.03″ and weighs 0.16 oz and an attached earphone Jack/Lobster clasp that will plug into your devices 3.5mm headphone jack. This will work for you, unless you are a lucky owner of an iPhone 7 or 7 plus. The idea is quite ingenious in that it provides a clip/tether for your device to prevent falling. Some additional ideas include hanging keys from the rack, glasses in between the double suction cups. Your creativity is the only limiting factor. In fact, if you dwell in a porous world, you are also in luck. Each kit comes with two super stickers, a transparent thin plastic sticker that can be attached to any surface. You no longer have any excuse to use a suction cup mount. Mr. Zucker noted, that this is one of the only systems where the mount can go with you.
With this idea, the company expanded into the GekkoPod. This is a 5 legged, star-fish-esque, mount. It is reported to be the most versatile and lightest mount on the market. Claiming to originate from biomimicry, the device can be used flat, can be used as a twist tie, can be used to hold your device to a tree branch, to handlebars, to your backpack etc. It can be used like a simple tripod or you can fold all the limbs down to make a selfie stick. There are really interesting features built into the device. For example, there is a center 1/4 20″ universal screw cutout and one at the end of a limb. This is a universal size, which should accept nearly every device. They have developed their own screw technology to enhance the tech and to make it easier to attach your device. It has a small hoop that you can use as a screwdriver that then folds flush with the ring. Two of the limbs have hand like extensions that can further enhance the gripping power and versatility of the device.
The product is available in the GekkoPod mobile (comes with the GekkoPod and the Gripit smartphone adaptor), the Gekkopod Action (comes with the GekkoPod and the GoPro Adaptor), or the GekkoPod Full Pack (comes with the GekkoPod and the Gripit phone adaptor and GoPro adaptor). The full pack is the pack that I would prefer, as it gives you more options. You can use the device as a tablet stand, attach it to your rearview mirror as a tablet/phone stand, you can use the claws to hold your device more securely or you can use the arms to wrap around your device to provide increased protection. It will fold up tight and fit into a cargo pocket or purse. Available in black, green, purple, blue, pink, camo and now glow-in-the-dark, you really cannot find an excuse not to own at least one. The devices can be purchased from zbamdesign.com for $24.95 (Gripit or GoPro) or for $29.95 (Both).
The main mount/screw weighs 2.3 ounces and increases to 2.7 ounces with the GoPro Mount or 3.3 ounces with the Gripit adaptor. There is a coin slot in the screw, which will allow you to use a coin to tighten the screw. If you have no coin, you can use the hoop to tighten the screw. This system is incredibly secure. For a mount, the Gekkopod really does have quite a few features. I was able to safely attach my phone to the small tray table on my Frontier Airline flight. If you have never been on Frontier Airline, the tray table is about the size of a small tablet. In addition to the bindability of the mount, the base of the feet are ribbed to prevent slippage. The mount is similar to spokes on a tire and has roughly a 7″ diameter. The mount is incredibly versatile for just about any device that will screw onto a 1/4″ screw. I would not use this for a full size DSLR camera or really anything larger than an iPhone 7 Plus. I was pleased that the Gripit will hold my phone inside of an Otterbox Defender. The case proves difficult to mount due to its heft.
I have had a chance to test the Gekkopod but have not yet tested the Sticko. I have never been a fan of the suction cup mount. However, this is merely a personal opinion and not any type of negativity for the device. The 3.5mm lobster clasp is a really neat idea and seems like it would work really well to tether your phone. I was able to test the device at their booth, but have not yet tested it in my own environment. I do not know that I will have as much utility as the iPhone 7 and 7 plus no longer have a 3.5 mm jack. There are other options from Zbam to include the 3POD all in one selfie stick and flexible tripod, Gekkoxl (large mount), Beamoco light clip, Beamcool warm glow nightlight attachment, and the Gripop. Visit their website to learn more about these other devices.
I am thankful that I was able to test the GekkoPod, it is a great mount system, one that I will include with my travel gear. I am pleased that the Gripit fits my phone, inside of a case. Also, the portability is very convenient.