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NEW! "Holdware" for Mobile Device Optimal Efficiency,

Ergonomics and Etiquette

A specified kind of computer and mobile device accessories does not have a convenient, standard nomenclature. This is the essential group of products that mount, position and hold laptops, tablets, smartphones and other handheld devices. Without them, many electronic devices would be rendered useless. Therefore, Clear View Innovations proposes and is coining the term "Holdware" for this group.

I hope that using the suffix "-ware" will raise the status of holding products to the same level as hardware and software. That new recognition may help manufacturers classify, retailers label and consumers find these accessories easier.   

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Read Holdware Blog Below

     #1 Dec. 27, 2017

Hardware, Software … Now Holdware

A specified kind of computer and mobile device accessories does not have a convenient, standard nomenclature. This is the essential group of products that mount, position and hold laptops, tablets, smartphones and other handheld devices. Without them, many electronic devices would be rendered useless. Therefore, Clear View Innovations proposes and is coining the term "Holdware" for this group.

I hope that using the suffix "-ware" will raise the status of holding products to the same level as hardware and software. That new recognition may help manufacturers classify, retailers label and consumers find these accessories easier

    #2 Dec. 28, 2017

 BYOD ... Now BYOH


Yesterday, we introduced you to the new term “Holdware,” which is any product that relates to mounting, positioning or holding mobile devices. Today, we add that preferably “Holdware” items would have a hands-free option. The practice BYOD (Bring your own device) provides employees with true mobility and gives them the comfort of using their own smartphones, tablets and laptops anywhere.

Therefore, we now introduce the concept of “Bring your own Holdware” (BYOH). For example, at meetings the hosts may furnish or the employees may bring their own device mounts, holders and stands. BYOH enables all to participate in the meeting and access their smartphones and tablets easily – in clear view and hands-free.

   #3 Dec. 31, 2017

        Why Interested


In my recent posts I introduced new terms related to mounting, positioning and holding of mobile devices — Holdware and BYOH (Bring your own Holdware). I am interested in this topic because I think existing mounts, holders and stands are inadequate and limit the greater potential of mobile devices.

The current approach to mounting and holding does not satisfy the growing demands of smartphone and tablet users. Users find it uncomfortable and they use poor ergonomics when handling mobile devices. This opinion is based on observations in Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia, including on the train between these cities.

With regards to smartphones only, my observations are that people:

1. Put/retrieve phones into/out of their pockets. Concerns: Phones could get dropped, damaged, lost or stolen. It is uncomfortable to sit on the pocket with the phone.

2. When walking, carry or use phones in one hand. Concerns: Phone occupies one hand which puts more burden on other arm and hand.

3. When standing or seated still, use both hands to text and bend their heads down Concerns: Both hands are occupied. Bending head can cause neck pain.

These are my observations and concerns for now. Please send your thoughts and experiences.

    #4 Jan. 4, 2018

Function without Form

I wrote and rewrote this post several times. This concept gave me a hard time in trying to get my point across. We will see how I did.

I think a big reason smartphone users have trouble handling their devices is because smartphones are not shaped and operated like the other electronic devices whose functions they emulate. For example, photography is one of the most popular uses of smartphones, yet consumers struggle with how to grasp, point and take the shot. Smartphone designers included nothing in the smartphone's construction, form, that is intended for using the phone as a typical digital camera.

On the other hand, camera designers make housings and features with the ease and comfort of photographer hands in mind. The housings are thick; the buttons, dials and switches are in spots with photographer fingers in mind; and there is a threaded insert for attaching mounts, holders and stands. Both smartphones and cameras perform the function of photography, but smartphones lack the form needed to easily handle, hold and operate them.

I think the fact that there are thousands of accessories available for taking photographs with smartphones substantiates the concept "Function without Form." After all, one of the most popular products is the selfie stick.

    #5 Dec. 27, 2017

The Ultimate All-in-One

On January 4, 2018, I wrote that smartphones perform the functions of other electronic products; however, the phones do not acquire the forms of these devices. Yet, the "form" is purposeful and essential for handling and operating those devices. Therefore, smartphone users may have a harder time handling and operating the phones for these functions.

I gave an example using the a traditional still camera. That made me think about what other products do smartphones emulate. Here is an initial list of 50 things. I am interested in your impressions and welcome any additions. The basic question is for what other products do smartphones with the right apps substitute:

address book      alarm clock      audio recorder      audio player      board games, books                  calculator         camcorder            camera              cash register,   CD player,           clock                compass              credit card         dictation machine DVD player         flashlight          GPS handheld and car                   laptop         letters                  maps               microscope           mirror                 monocular         MP3 player         musical instruments                      newspaper         note paper, organizer, playing cards, point & shoot camera, radio, reference books, remote control, Rolodex, scanner, security camera, security monitor, shopping list, slides, telephone, telescope, television, thermometer, travel planner, video games, walkie-talkie, wrist watch, webcam, word games.

Continued from the bottom of the previous column

#7  Jan. 16, 2018

Mobile Attachment

A phenomenon that has appeared alongside the explosion of mobile devices is the strong attachment between consumers and their smartphones and tablets. We use them anywhere, anytime, anyhow and with anyone. Many people will say “It is attached at my hip.”! One reason from my earlier blog is that smartphones substitute for over 50 other products. There are thousands of everyday and not-so-everyday tasks that we can perform with the help of smartphones.

I believe that other than the numerous tasks, mobile devices serve psychological and social functions as well. For example, psychologically there are people who have no sense of direction causing them to stay home and never travel. Mobile devices may embolden them by they guarantee they will never get lost.

Socially, my observations show that the device itself has become a status symbol. Other than ones clothes, there is nothing else more visible that can show the world who you are. I think that eyeglasses were 2nd , but now smart devices have eclipsed that.

For example, different consumers may buy the latest cool and powerful mobile devices to show off intelligence and strength. Others may choose the most fashionable phone with designer case to portray ones sense of style. Finally, many people carry and use their phones to project an image of importance.

#8 Jan. 19, 2018

Can Unpealing Appeal Reduce Phone Addiction?

Earlier I introduced the term “smartphone addiction,” — the negative attachment that mobile device owners have to their smartphones and tablets. In the New York Times article, “Is the Solution to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone,” the author Nellie Bowles, reports one possible way to mitigate the addiction is by making the phone less appealing. (Jan. 12, 2018; Ms. Bowles confirms it is no accident we love our phones. Silicon Valley companies design their hardware and software to captivate us. She took part in a test that made her phone less appealing and changed her colorful screen to grayscale. Ms. Bowles reported that “I’ve been gray for a couple days, and it’s remarkable how well it has eased my twitchy phone checking, suggesting that one way to break phone attachment may be to ... make my phone a little worse.” The focus of this blog is Holdware, so it makes me think how mounts and holders can make the phone “a little worse.” Ideas. Make mounts and holders with: — odd shapes; — tacky or sticky texture; — extra weight; — filters and blinders that make it hard to see the screen. What type of mount or holder would make it less appealing for you to use your phone so much

#9 Jan. 9, 2018

         No Respect


In this blog, I have been suggesting that mounting, positioning and holding products play a more substantial role in the effective use of mobile devices than generally recognized. I consider recognition to be articles, stories, reviews and conference presentations. For example, on the website there is a Reviews tab that shows 20 product categories, none of which relates to mounting. Additionally, a search of the conference sessions at the recent Enterprise Connect 2018 revealed:

Software – 14 matched sessions

Hardware – 5 matched sessions

Connectivity – 4 matched sessions

Mounting – 0 matched sessions

Is that to say that mounting is the Rodney Dangerfield ( in the use of mobile devices? I believe so. However, I also believe that mounting is the next untapped frontier that will have a bigger impact on the effective use of mobile devices than the traditional software, hardware and connectivity realms.

#10 Jan. 24, 2018

What Companies are Making Mobile Device Mounting Products

In this article, I introduce you to types of companies that create, produce, market and sell mounting products for smartphones and tablets. Before the first iPhone appeared in 2007 and first iPad in 2010, there were no mounting products for mobile devices. Once the need for mounts appeared, various types of companies rushed in to fill the void. I have divided them into four categories, and I describe the advantages and challenges they had in meeting the demand. The categories:

  1. Established Mounting Companies are already specialists in fixed and mobile mounting solutions for other products such as video cameras, laptops and instruments.  Their advantage is already having the funding, engineers, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, sales in place. These companies’ challenges are; 1) to learn what customers want and; 2) to make their solutions consistent with existing standards, appearance and branding. Additionally, they usually have to commit to large production runs.
  2. Established Companies of Products in Other Industries are already producing products from other fields, i.e. music instruments, phone cases and presentation products. Mobile devices enable their primary products to function better and the devices make it easier for their customers. Therefore, these companies started to make the mounts as value-added accessories and, in some cases, the mounts have become stand-alone products.
  3. Start-ups Founding Based a Single Product are new companies that independent inventors establish in order to commercialize their new and better mount. Their advantage is being totally unconstrained by precedent and the owners have full decision-making power. The challenges are big and many. The inventors have to fund the whole venture and infrastructure with their own resources and those of angel investors and equity firms. However, crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo became a brand new source of funding.  There is no shortage of mounting ideas. For example, as of January 25, 2018, there are 132 projects for tablet stands and 80 for smartphone stands on Kickstarter.
  4. Chinese Manufacturers who advertise in Alibaba and elsewhere looking for resellers worldwide wanting to order in very large quantities. One distinction I have yet to make is that manufacturers create mounts for either the consumer or business market or both. I believe that the Chinese products were more likely go to the high volume consumer market who demand low prices and are more willing to accept lower quality, e.g. plastic.

This listing and categories is an unofficial first shot thus far from authoritative and comprehensive. My review of websites selling mobile device mounting products revealed several thousand manufacturers and many that sell only one item.

    #6 Jan. 9, 2018

And Now ... Tablets!


 My first two blogs about Holdware and BYOH pertained to smartphones and tablets. The next several articles were on smartphones only since they are the most common mobile device and we were already familiar with their telephone predecessors. On the other hand, tablets were new and unfamiliar when they first appeared in 2010.

We never had an electronic object with the tablets’ dimensions that we carried and used on our person. The closest objects I can think of are restaurant check holders and police citations books. I would see food servers and police officers slip the holders and books into their pants at the lower back. That is one way I learned to carry my smaller tablets. When tablets first came out, manufacturers got busy thinking up cases, folios and holders.

Those companies were counting on users to carry their encased tablets under the arm or in thin computer cases. Several companies have come out with specialized sling-type pouches. Regardless, my observations show that tablet users struggle with carrying, handling and using tablets for the growing number of applications. For example, people who use 2-way live video do not have an easy, stable way to prop up tablets, let alone move them off the table to eye level.

Continued at the top of the next column

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  History: Steve Frank founded Clear View Innovations (CVI)  in 1998. CVI's  first product was the  "Interpreter Mirror" -- a professional tool for sign language interpreters. Now, in the 21st century the function of the Interpreter Mirror is being performed by the "Video Visual Feed."

Clear View Innovations

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