Keeping it up

Written by: Eureka! | Published:

For most of us, the electronic tablet is now a fixture of our lives. In the space of less than a decade, it has gone from being an exotic gadget to a commonplace item, with many households featuring multiple such devices.

From keeping the kids entertained on long car journeys, keeping up with work while on the move or reading the online version of your favourite newspaper or magazine, the tablet is ubiquitous. And yet there is one aspect of it that’s never really been perfected: keeping it upright.

Those of us who have tried watching a film, sporting event or television programme on a tablet know that precarious feeling when you’ve folded up the cover in the approved fashion and propped it on a flat surface, only for it to begin its inexorable slide from the upright to the horizontal – usually just as something crucial is happening on screen. Almost invariably, you end up holding the tablet up manually.

The challenge

What’s needed, then, is a truly stable platform for tablets that can be used anywhere from flat surfaces to propped up in bed. It should be affordable, adjustable, safe and effective. As ever, we have a solution in mind, but would love to see what you come up with.

The idea we have in mind will be revealed in the March issue of Eureka! Until then see what you can come up with. Submit your ideas by leaving a comment on the Coffee Time Challenge section of the Eureka! website or by emailing the editor: paul.fanning@markallengroup.com


The Solution

The solution to last month’s Coffee Time Challenge to design a truly effective means of propping up an electronic tablet that can be used anywhere and allow easy and adjustable viewing.

The solution we had in mind is called Tablift and was specifically designed to address the problem of using your iPad or tablet in places like the bed and the couch, where most use takes place. The Tablift allows you to use your tablet in places with uneven surfaces completely hands-free, giving you the freedom to sit or lie back and enjoy your tablet without having to hold it in your hands or rest it on your lap. So now you can watch movies, read, check your email, and play games in complete comfort by freeing your hands.

The Tablift features an adjustable restraining strap that holds the tablet into the base of the Tablift adjusts to any tablet, large or small. At the same time, 10mm grooves at the base will hold any tablet that is less than 10mm near the edge, which is virtually all modern tablets made by all the major tablet manufacturers


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Coffee Time Challenge is just a bit of fun, but it is based on a real engineering solution. If you send in your ideas by using the comment button below, we can add your solution as an alternative – perhaps something funny, practical, cheap or, of course, innovative.

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