2011-01-10

iPhone Head Mount


So for quite some time now I have been able to improve various menial tasks (such as washing the dishes) by listening to an interesting podcast or audiobook such as The Space Show. Unfortunately, one of my favorite podcasts happens to be a video podcast, courtesy of TED. It seems to me that we have the technology to plug an iPod or iPhone into a set of video glasses, it just hasn't been commercialized all that well yet. For example the pair from dealextreme.com (which I don't like buying from anyway due to some bad experiences) is a little pricy and wouldn't allow me to see the dishes I was washing very well (for example).

I have been thinking about how I could build something, but have been traveling for quite some time, and just didn't have the right materials on hand until recently. After avoiding doing the dishes for a couple weeks, things finally got serious and I decided to give this idea some thought again. Serendipitously, this time, there was a box of K'NEX sitting in front of me, so I got to work.

Previously when building mousetrap cars I had constructed a "mousetrap dock" that made it easy to design and redesign the cars without having to change the drive mechanism. This was a great place to start, but it didn't fit my iPhone (which isn't quite as thin as a mousetrap).
Eventually I came up with the following dock which holds the iPhone 4 quite snugly. Sliding one set of white end pieces allows you to control how wide the dock is, which when extended works great for plugging headphones in through the center of one of the white pieces.
The blue K'NEX piece through the center of one of the white ones allows you to press the "Lock/Unlock" button (which is otherwise a little tricky to reach).

All I had to do now was build something that would sit on my head, strong enough to prevent the iPhone from falling off into the dishwater. You may need to customize this design for yourself, depending on your head size, but the following works well for me.
Notice the extra reinforcement at some of the weaker points (below).
I used grey pieces to extend the iPhone dock far enough from my eyes to allow me to see what is going on around me, and to make it easier to adjust my focus from the phone to the outside world (but this is also adjustable by sliding the four orange connector pieces).
Let me know if you come up with any interesting uses or modifications! Thanks to Ryan Kaarsemaker for making the great video of how the head set works!


4 comments:

  1. I liked the concept you used on to build this mount but still it doesn't seems that durable. Even it looked as it was unable to hold the weight of the iPhone for a log time.

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  2. Well, I should have worked harder on commercializing sooner, now Headflat is moving forward with my idea. I suppose I'll have to support their efforts instead.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/902655470/headflat-the-smartphone-hands-free-solution

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