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There are numerous tripod solutions available for smartphones and digital cameras; some of them good, some of them bad. How many mounts can wrap around a tree branch while holding a camera? The GEKKOPOD can.
Funded on Kickstarter in under twelve hours, GEKKOPOD is the brainchild of Zuckerim, a Jerusalem-based company. The device has been developed for smartphone and camera users alike looking for a more flexible tripod solution. There are two features setting GEKKOPOD apart from its competition: its flexible legs and lizard-like feet.
At first glance, the device appears to portray some sort of cheap gimmick, or something you’d find in a bargain bin, but it holds so much more than that. Designed with flexibility in mind, the GEKKOPOD houses five metal legs covered in a luminous rubber exterior. This construction gives the GEKKOPOD an incredible amount of flexibility, stability, and support when holding your device.
When completely unfolded, the GEKKOPOD takes on the appearance of a starfish or a throwing star to my imagination. In the centre is a mounting hole for one of the three included attachments. These are an extendible adaptable mount for smartphones, a GoPro mount which I didn’t use because I don’t own a GoPro, and a standard ¼-20-inch screw and arm for cameras.
Four out of the five legs contain studded feet to increase their grip on different surfaces, whether standing upright or hanging off of a table or tree branch. The fifth-foot trades studs for an opening mount, identical to the one in the centre of the stand. This too is used to attach one of the included device peripherals.
Two of the GEKKOPOD’s feet have slits in them. I didn’t notice these at first, but only after a while when reviewing the promo video for the fourth time and wondering, “How do they get the iPhone to stand like that?” These slits, which I had to cut myself, split each of the two feet into three parts. The two new cuts created smaller sections that can mostly move independently from the leg.
The function of this is to hold smartphones in a vertical hold, allowing for better viewing of programs, like Skype. I was able to rig up my smartphone in this position and pull the phone charging cable through the main hole to allow for charging. It’s a pretty nifty feature and one I can see myself using more and more.
I primarily tested the GEKKOPOD with an iPhone 5c and a Fujifilm FinePix S1800 bridge-type camera. As mentioned earlier there are two main mounting holes on the GEKKOPOD; the centre and the fifth leg. Both of my devices were tested using these holes, as well as stability on non-flat surfaces.
While the GEKKOPOD was able to easily hold up the iPhone on the fifth leg, it marginally managed to do so with the camera. I had to adjust the appendage a few times in order to keep the camera and leg from drooping downwards. That means the GEKKOPOD could hold around half-a-kilogram before slipping. That’s not necessarily a problem as the feature is more for digital cameras and smartphones alike.
Attaching each of the devices to the centre hole is where the GEKKOPOD really shines through. The iPhone — and most smartphones — is mounted via an extendable clip. In this position, the phone is horizontal to the GEKKOPOD. The camera can either be attached via the standard mount or the included movable mount. Either way you’ll have a sturdy way to position the camera when it’s on the GEKKOPOD.
Once attached, I was able to easily position to unit in almost any way imaginable. One of the tests included the camera hanging onto a table with two of the legs, white the other three were giving support from underneath. It really is a nifty device.
The past few days the GEKKOPOD has been sitting on my desk while I listen to music. So far, it’s accompanied me to one Q&A session, which proved to be invaluable.
Over time, I can see the rubber starting to wear and tear, but that will happen to extended and rugged use. The GEKKOPOD is a device you should be lugging around wherever you go as it easily fits into a pocket or bag.
Verdict: While I didn’t have initially have high hopes for the GEKKOPOD I was proven wrong, and rightly so. The GEKKOPOD’s flexibility and design make it a must for camera and smartphone users alike. From now on it’ll be accompanying me on press events and holiday.