OK, so, you've made the big investment. You've depleted your savings account or cashed in on one of your 401Ks to purchase your very own iPad. And while you like the idea of holding your coveted device in your hot little mits, it would be nice at times to go hands-free. However, if the thought of investing one more cent in accessories is causing you heart palpitations, InventorSpot has sought out some inventive new ideas for making make-shift kickstands - almost free of charge.
1- The KneeStandHey, what's wrong with resting that $500-700 iPad right on your knee(s). This would allow you to work at your leisure on the couch, in bed or even during certain yoga positions. Definitely the cheapest route. However if those knees give out after maintaining one position for a period of time, you might want to explore one of our other options.
2- The Pole Clamp This solution can be purchased at Home Depot and attaches to the perimeter of your iPad while clamping to the closest pole in your house or workplace. It's particularly appealing for strippers who are working their way through college, as it allows them to multi-task between dancing and conducting online research.
3- VelcroStandFor that cyclist who likes to get his iPad on al fresco and at high speeds, the VelcroStand can be affixed to the front end of any motorcycle with some well-placed velcro strips.
In this YouTube video with over a 500K views you see that velcro's versatility has a multitude of other options and is only limited by one's imagination as to what surface you can affix your iPad.
4- The iPlungeThe 'Museum of Unintended Use' collects stories and photos pertaining to objects used for alternative purposes, other than what they were designed for. So what I'm calling the iPlunge is a creative alternative use of the tool previously dedicated to plunging the porcelain throne. Here you can see the iPlunge makes an ideal kickstand. I would suggest however perhaps buying a new one and not using the one that's been used for the other purpose.
5- Throne Room Reading StandCoincidentally, here is another option that is associated with toilets. Your time in the Fortress of Solitude is sacred, so the folks at Mac|Life suggest you use it wisely. Easily installed in any home,the Throne Room Reading Stand is 'Spartan' by design but very utilitarian. Hands-free you can enjoy browsing your favorite Web sites or the latest new best-seller downloaded via iBooks. "After just one use, we're sure you'll agree that this stand makes taking the time to go number two the number one time of your day." However, Mac|Life also suggests to "Wash your hands before reclaiming your iPad. Please."
6- Dinner Music Companion StandWhether having a romantic dinner or dining alone, music is always a great accompaniment. Recognizing that the iPad's slim profile and external speakers can set the tone, Mac|Life, in association with a number of industry-leading condiment producers, has developed an unobtrusive stand for Apple's latest creation. By utilizing a specially-shaped and weighted ketchup bottle, their team have managed to keep the dinner table clutter to a minimum while allowing you to access iPad's music functionality.
7- In-Vehicle iPad Navigation StandA little more cumbersome than Number 3's 'velcro' option, here is yet another means to drive and iPad at the same time. Used as a navigation aid, this Mac|Life solution debuted back in February. The In-Vehicle Navigation System attaches to your steering wheel with what looks-like a pair of high-traction bungee cords. While you should always keep your eyes on the road, and the cords are somewhat distracting, you've got to admit, it will allow you access to a Google map or the GPS Web site of your choice.
8- Buddy-Back StandMac|Life thought hard and long on this one. In their words, "If you've got friends, we encourage you to use them." Whether you're standing in line behind a pal, or queuing up for the next launch of the latest iPhone, the Buddy-Back Stand is your best option for those on the go. If you're not necessarily interested in talking face-to-face to the person in front of you - all the better. Riding safely in the Buddy Back's 60/40 poly-cotton blend tablet hood, your tablet will be at the ready when you want to catch the latest news during your commute to work.
9- The Steve Jobs StandPaying homage to the founder of the company that introduced the iPad to the world less than a year ago, I do admit the Steve Jobs Stand is not your most practical option. But duct-tape has been known to work wonders and as you can see Apple's CEO has come up with an ingenious means of replicating an iPad using 4 iPhones. The question is if you can cough up the dough for 4 iPhones, why wouldn't you been able to afford an iPad? Back to the drawing board, Mr. Jobs!
10- iPad Walking Robot Stand
Definitely my favorite stand - but unfortunately the one I have the least amount of information. While it looks makes-shift, designed by a Japanese firm, there is no indication whether it's for sale or still under development. However, it may spark some of our more inventive readers to think about designing something similar. This YouTube video with over 250,000 views (and it doesn't even matter that the voice-over is in Japanese) gives testimony to the current interest in the iPad Walking Robot Stand. While the other nine options are unique, this is the only kickstand that will get your iPad to stand up autonomously… and even follow you around your desk if you like.
So, there you have it - this year's TOP TEN iPad kickstands for a mere pittance. Please let us know if we missed one of your favorites? While there plenty of sources to purchase accessories for your device from the Apple Store, I am sure you'll agree that this list not only cuts costs, but also gives you something to share with your fellow iPad fanboys and fangirls - and bragging rights over those that haven't been able to afford one yet!