How a Non-designer Created a Tablet Stand for Lying in Bed

January 30, 2014

5:27 pm

When we're not using our tablets whilst sitting on the toilet, then we're using it in our beds (to say that you use your tablet predominantly elsewhere is a blatant lie). While it certainly takes very little effort to hold up your tablet while doing your business in the bathroom (assuming that you don't take more than 10 minutes), it takes quite a bit of effort and arm strain to hold up a tablet when you're lying in bed. Indeed, this is the issue that Scott Blevins found himself with one night, attempting to hold up his iPad while watching a show. While not a designer by training, he's managed to provide humanity with a tablet stand that allows our lazy, lethargic selves to operate our tablets without the effort of having to hold it for ourselves.

Blevins is the creator of the Tablift, a universal tablet stand that holds your tablet securely and hands-free while you're sitting on the couch or lying in bed. Created under his startup, nbryte, the tablet holder can be used with most tablets currently on the market. First produced through a Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, the second generation of the Tablift was introduced at this year's International CES and will go for $59.95.

“I don't have a design background, but I've always kind of made my way from one product to another. I've always kind of done my own thing, and that's worked for me…I'm pretty creative in my own way,” said Blevins.

While he is a non-designer, Blevins admits that he's always had an entrepreneurial background (including running a website for 12 years now). So, after doing some research on what tablet stands or tablet holders were currently available on the market, he discovered that there weren't really any out there that solved the problem of removing the effort of holding a tablet while also maintaining functionality.

“I definitely started from ground zero in terms of production and manufacturing; I started with zero knowledge on how to do these things or to go about actually creating this.”

After settling on a concept, Blevins started sketching some prototypes, aiming for a product with an aesthetic that worked for him. Because he knew nothing about actually creating a physical product like this, he brought on a lot of help and support along the way. He approached industrial engineers to help him turn his sketches into a functional design. When looking into the parts, he did a lot of research into finding the right company to help design the individual parts (and the injection molds necessary to manufacture them).

Despite the lack of initial design knowledge, Blevins has left us with this fully-functional tablet stand that supports our lazy lifestyles. Now equipped with more available capital (compared to when he relied on Kickstarter funds), he says that the second generation of Tablift will be manufactured to be sturdier than the original and more compact. You can pre-order it now, or get the original from Amazon.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.