Phone mount for bikes
Most of today’s smart phones have features that could be utilized in ways never thought possible. They are packed with powerful processors, GPS, high resolution camera, a ton of memory, high def. screen and the ability to run customized apps. A biker can take advantage of all these features while riding. The mount takes ones phone from their pockets to where it belongs while riding, on the bike!
The biker can:
- Use the built-in GPS for navigation.
- Take video/pictures while he/she rides the bike.
- Listen to music. (although not encouraged)
- Use it like a cyclocomputer.
- Use it like a bike light.
- Use it like a voice recorder with location tagging.
Initial thoughts and sketches:
There are similar products already available in the market. But there is room for improvement. For example, many products target specific brands of phone (especially iPhones), most of these mounts are rigid, allowing very few/no degrees of freedom, these mounts also end up covering the camera of the phone, etc. So, I made a list of criteria that I would like to target through this design.
- Design independent of the phone.
- Allow pan and rotational degrees of freedom.
- Do not block the camera.
- Easy to use.
(click on the image to enlarge)
The construction is simple with fewer parts to keep the cost of production low and to minimize wearing. The support bar is made out of hardened plastic while the clamps are made from softer versions. The red holder is attached to the clamp bar via a screw while a similar technique holds together the pan axis. The device can be mounted on the handlebar with the clamp tightened with a hex bolt at the bottom.
The two sides of the clamp are held together by springs that are embedded within the central assembly of the holder. These springs make sure that the camera is squeezed tightly in-between them. This variable mechanism would also allow one to mount different types of phone on their bike.
The grooves on the rotational face plate would make sure that the phone won’t rotate due to any riding vibrations.
A quick look at how the degrees of freedom would behave in reality:
The pan axis allows the user to pan a complete 360 degrees. This can be especially useful when taking videos from different angles. It could also allow the user to flip the phone towards the road and use it as a bike light (with any color or blinking pattern!). The rotational axis allows the user to switch in-between landscape and portrait mode.
Having a GPS mounted on a bike could be a huge bonus when going on tours or for finding places as you ride:
1. Such a mount would also encourage the usage of products like bike powered phone chargers.
2. After thinking over ways to weather-protect the phone, I finally came to a conclusion that a fancy plastic inclosure could work, but wouldn’t a simple ziplock bag do the same trick?
Before I finalized the idea to work on the camera mount design, I played around with another idea that I thought was useful. I wanted to make a laptop stand that would raise its height to match that of my external monitor. I made a few sketches and ended up making a prototype the same day. Further development was halted because I grew satisfied with the first version itself.