Manufactured by 1.0 Innovations, SETA is basically a thick piece of aluminum worked into a curved "L" shape, with a "T-Channel" cutout large enough to manage almost all variety of docking cable.
The real draw for many, however, will be the method with which an iPhone ? or any other mobile device, such as an iPad ? can stay attached to the simple stand. By using what 1.0 Innovations calls the "NanoSuction" pad, almost any smartphone or tablet can be held in place and easily removed.
SETA is named after the mechanism or process describing the stiff hair or bristles on an organism, like those on a gecko's feet, that allow for adhesion to vertical surfaces. In fact, a prototype of the product shown off at this year's Macworld conference in January was dubbed "GEKO."
AppleInsider was able to use SETA and the NanoSuction pads over the past couple of weeks, and found the system to be quite useful, especially when doing desk work. The curvature of the stand provides an adequate viewing angle while keeping an iPhone within arm's reach. With grab-and-go mounting and dismounting, SETA is well suited for people who find themselves constantly moving to and from their workspace.
In practice, the synthetic gecko-inspired NanoSuction material readily adheres to a variety of flat, non-porous surfaces (including another NanoSuction pad) without being sticky to the touch or leaving behind a tacky residue. When the pad gets dirty, a piece of tape or a damp towel can be used to clean it, with little to no loss of "suction."
The SETA stand comes with two NanoSuction pads already attached, one on the front-facing edge and another on its base. Users can plant it on a number of surfaces and slap an iPhone or iPad on its face without having to hassle with suction cups or mechanical clips.
Using SETA is an interesting experience. With its gripping power, the NanoSuction pad almost feels like a magnet ? so much so that for the first day of testing, we half expected to feel a pull from the stand when mounting our iPhones.?
iPhone stuck to a window using NanoSuction pads.
On the downside, not all protective cases can be used with the NanoSuction pads, specifically silicone-based and textured models, though the firm claims about 70 percent of cases tested were compatible. Pads sold separately have an adhesive backing for use on noncompliant surfaces, though having a small black rectangle semi-permanently stuck to one's phone is hardly ideal. Instead, we stuck these in areas where an iPhone or iPad mount may come in handy but would otherwise be impractical, such as a bathroom mirror or the center console of a car.
While unique, the T-Channel cord holder on the stand is a bit cumbersome to use regularly. Users can string a charging cable through the top of the T-Channel, where it will drop down and be held in place until needed, though in our short time with SETA, the stand's charging dock capabilities were quickly forgotten.
Although 1.0 Innovations claims the ultra-minimalist SETA stand is designed to be future proof, and will no doubt be attractive to some, we think the product's real promise lies in its NanoSuction pads.
SETA's Kickstarter campaign starts today, with early bird rewards set at $19 for one stand and an extra small NanoSuction pad. Regular backing prices start at $25, while NanoSuction pad sets can be pledged for separately.