Mounting mobile phones and tablets

green plastic mount supporting mobile phone at a 70 degree angle

When we use technology we need to be able to position it so that it is easy to use. We need to be able operate the controls and have it positioned so that we can see it without eyestrain.  Sometimes it’s useful to mount a device, as our hands may be tied up doing something else; the device may be too heavy or we may even have a limited ability to reach, grasp, or hold the device.

Some of the most common items we use are mobile phones and tablets.  There are various mounting options available.  The suitability of a mount depends on various factors such as the fixing clamp, where you intend to mount the device, weight of device to be mounted, the reach and adjustability of the mount etc.

Mounting systems are generally composed of a (i)fixing clamp to mount either to a flat table top surface or a circular tubing, (ii) an adjustable arm usually no longer that 500mm (iii) some kind of attachment or cradle to hold the device.

Below are two mounting systems which may offer you some good solutions.  Ram mounts are a mainstream supplier of mounts for electronic devices within cars, bikes and trucks.  Rehadapt on the other hand, have a range of mounting products to serve clients with “special needs”. Both systems consist of a fixing clamp, adjustable arm and a cradle to hold the device.

Ram mount

In choosing a fixing clamp you need to consider the surface you are fixing it to: do you need to remove clamp often? Will the clamp be secure?  Below are two clamps however their site  offers more options.

RAM Small Tough-Claw™ with B Size 1″ Diameter Rubber Ball

RAM Small Tough-Claw™ with B Size 1" Diameter Rubber Ball$33.49

RAM Rail Base with B Size 1″ Ball. Zinc Coated U-Bolt for Rails fro…

RAM Rail Base with B Size 1" Ball. Zinc Coated U-Bolt for Rails from 0.5" to 1.25" in Diameter

$15.49

The Ram mount arms consist of various length double socket arms as well as solid and gooseneck poles that can be joined together with an adaptor.

RAM Short Double Socket Arm for B Size 1″ Balls

RAM Short Double Socket Arm for B Size 1" Balls$13.99

RAM Double Socket Arm for B Size 1″ Balls

RAM Double Socket Arm for B Size 1" Balls$13.99

RAM Medium Double Socket Arm, Dual Extension with Ball Adapter for …

RAM Medium Double Socket Arm, Dual Extension with Ball Adapter for B Size 1" Balls$39.49

At the end of the arm we need to attach the device.  Ram mounts offer various cradles for specific tablets as well as universal type options.

RAM Universal X-Grip® Cell/iPhone Cradle

RAM Universal X-Grip® mobile phone Cradle $27.99

RAM Universal X-Grip® Large Phone/Phablet Cradle

RAM Universal X-Grip® for a Large Phone or Phablet Cradle$31.49

RAM Universal X-Grip® Cradle for 10″ Large TabletsRAM Universal X-Grip® Cradle for various 10 inch Large Tablets$76

 

The good: It’s reasonably priced, with lots of component options.

The not so good: Not designed for wheelchair mounting, so you’re limited to where it can be fitted onto a wheelchair.

The verdict: A good option for anyone on a tight budget.

Rehadapt

Rehadapt has a large range of fixing clamps that will do for nearly every wheelchair.  They also have adjustable clamp options such as this one below, although they don’t fit on as securely.

L3D-TC 2QS

Light 3D Table mount with two tubes and two joints with levers

L3D-WC 1AK  and  L3D-WC 2AK

Rehadapt L3D-WC 1AK and L3D-WC 2AK

Light 3D wheelchair mount with one tube and one joint with screw.  The L3D-WC 2AK is a two pole version of this.  You can state the required wheelchair clamp on order.  Combine with any cradle with REHAdapt’s Spigot Link System (SLS).

 

Onto the end of the REHAdapt’s Spigot Link System, there a various options.  Some universal cradles are below.

L3D-GA-Universal Phone Holder M

Rehadapt L3D-GA-Universal Phone Holder M

Device adapter with Spigot Link System (SLS) for mounting Mobile Phone Medium 62-77mm * -14mm (2 1/2″-3″ * -1/2″) to REHAdapt´s Light 3D system.

GA-Tablet 7″ – 8″

Rehadapt GA-Tablet 7 – 8 inch

Generic device adapter for mounting tablets with 7“ or 8“ screen size

GA-Tablet 10″

Rehadapt GA-Tablet 10 inch

Generic device adapter for mounting tablets with 10“ screen size

The good: It looks good.  Lots of component options and excellent for mounting onto a wheelchair.

The not so good: Expensive component parts.

The verdict: A very secure mounting system.

Mounting Assistive Technology Documentation (MAT-DOC)

Mount'n Mover, wheelchair mounting system holding a camera

To use technology effectively it needs to be at an optimal position for our use. Whether it’s a computer display, tablet computer, or even the chair we sit on, the position of items we use is important for ease of use and comfort. For someone with a physical disability this is even more important as their ability to reach, grasp, hold or interact with physical objects may be limited. Mounting can improve the overall view and the ability to manipulate the controls of the device.

There is now a range of mounting solutions available from mounting arms to modular mounting kits.

We need to consider a range of things when mounting assistive technology, to ensure technology can be used effectively in a range of environments and contexts to meet the lifestyle needs of the user.

Some very useful documentation is now available. It is designed for service providers and others who are involved with attaching one piece of assistive technology, such as a communication device to another, such as a wheelchair. It’s designed to help ensure all relevant aspects have been considered to ensure the best solution is reached.

This best practice guidelines documentation is available for general use at http://mat-doc.org/

MAT-doc also includes Best Practice Guidelines which have been developed by a team of people who are all actively involved with mounting assistive technology.

These guidelines are intended to promote and facilitate independence and participation and not as a mechanism to find barriers to the provision of equipment.

It is based on the Mounting Assistive Technology Documentation (MAT-DOC)

Low-cost phone and tablet holders

It’s hard to beat the quality of mounting equipment offered by mounting suppliers such as Dassey or Rehadapt or even mainstream suppliers like Ram Mounts.  These mounting systems are designed to keep your hardware safe, made to last and they look good.

However, these mounting solutions also tend to be expensive and may be far from the budget of a user who may just require a second mount to take here and there with them.

There are many options for low-cost mounts that still provide the function of holding your phone or tablet so you can use it effectively.

Many low-cost mounts can be found on Amazon, eBay or even bought from supermarket chains such as Aldi or Lidl.  So it’s worth keeping an eye out as some of these products sell for as little as a few euro.

An example of mount recently bought from Lidl for €4.  It comprises of a spring loaded cradle, goose neck and spring loaded clamp. Although it will not take excessive pressure, but it works quite well for holding a phone at eye level for light touch screen use.

Low cost mount from lidl

Other online examples can be seen here

Adjustable Tablet Stand Holder Foldable

http://www.gearbest.com/iphone-mounts-holders/pp_262179.html?currency=EUR&vip=764180&gclid=CLyhn7aF8tECFam17QodPdQLTA

Breett Universal Phone Holder

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breett-Universal-Flexible-Gooseneck-Bathroom-x/dp/B00ZF4DZSU/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1486059989&sr=8-7&keywords=phone+holder

 

Docking your tablet to make it more accessible

RAM Desktop Docking charger which provides data connectivity

Docking a portable device could have many useful benefits for some users.  Connecting a charger up to a device may be difficult for some individuals because of the size of connectors such as Micro USB or a Lightning connectors.  They can be hard to see and difficult to manipulate to the correct position.  With this docking station all you have to do is to drop the device into the docking station and it starts to charge.  The device is also held at an upright angle eliminating the need to hold the device.

The RAM Desktop Dock Charger with GDS Technology for IntelliSkin not only provides a protective cover for a device but when docked it also provides a data connection while charging.   More USB devices such a speaker system, keyboard and mouse can be connected to make your device more accessible.

Assistive Technology Webinars

 

webinar graphic

Are you looking for free expert training and advice is assistive technology?

Then consider signing up for a webinar.  There are lots of webinars available within various areas of assistive technology.  Some have a charge, but there are many freely available for anyone to take part in.

A webinar is a live meeting that takes place over the web.  The meeting can be a presentation, discussion, demonstration, or an instructional session.  Participants can view documents and applications via their computers, while join in the discussion by audio or via a live Q&A text area.

Many assistive technology suppliers and organisations are using webinars as a way to share information.  Below are a list of a few online webinars that you can register on or listen to archived sessions.

Inclusive technology

http://www.inclusive.co.uk/events/webinars

The Great Lakes ADA Center’s

http://www.ada-audio.org/Webinar/AccessibleTechnology/Schedule/#fy2015Session6

ATIA Online Professional Development

http://www.atia.org/i4a/member_directory/feResultsListing.cfm?directory_id=8&viewAll=1

Don Johnston Incorporated

http://donjohnston.com/webinars/#.VecAe_lViko

AbleNet University Live Webinars

https://www.ablenetinc.com/resources/live_webinars/

Iowa Assistive Technology Professional Development Network

https://www.education.uiowa.edu/centers/icater/webinars

Mounting an iPad to a Wheelchair

Positioning a device well is essential for optimal access and use. In some cases mounting from a wheelchair may be required. Although lots of different devices can be mounted to a wheelchair, this post focuses on some of the options available for mounting a tablet.

1.    Daessy

various daessy mounts

Daedalus Technologies main product is the Dassey mounting system which has a wide range of brackets, device adaptor plates and connecting bars that will fit most communication machines and tablets onto a wheelchairs.  It’s a good option for mounting, but it’s a bit heavy duty for a light device such as an iPad.

Daessy have a number of Standard Daessy Wheelchair Mounts that allow the mount to fold behind or to the side of the chair.  They also have wheelchair mounts with the option for the user to release their mount to swing to the side and lock to out of position.

http://www.daessy.com/dms/indexm.html

If the user is able to reach a release-catch in fount of them, then swing away options may be suitable such as these two below.

Locking Swing-Away Mount DLSA7

Daessy Locking Swing Away Mount DLSA7

The DAESSY Locking Swing-Away Mount (DLSA7) The Locking Swing-Away Mount consists of a single length of tube bent to a right angle shape and supported in a clamp that allows the Mount to be swung away from the user in the manner of a gate. A Locking mechanism located at the clamp and operated by a cable running underneath the Mounted device controls the swing-away action.

Swing Aside Mount DSAM4

Daessy Swing Aside Mount DSAM4

 

The Swing Aside Mount combines the features of the Locking Swing Away Mount (DLSA7) with the lockable frame clamp components. The mount can be swung away from the user by releasing the lock-pin connected to the cable that runs below the horizontal tube.

As well as the Dassey standard mounts, custom solutions can be setup using their large range of components.

With Daessy mounts, the devices (iPads or other) can be quickly detached from the mount and the mount can be lifted completely out of the frame clamp for mount removal.

 

2.    Rehadapt

REHAdapt mount on a Wheelchair

 

Rehadapt manufacture a number of options for wheelchair mounts. Again similar to Daessy it consists of poles and connecting joints.

This is a good mounting system, light but quite expensive.  Rehadapt’s Virtual Mounting Solution offers a way to see a virtual image of your mounting needs.  First take a number of pictures from different angels of the location where mount is needed. Then note details of the make and model of the wheelchair, details of the device or switch to be used, which side it is to go on and any other requirements. Email all off to the service.  Rehadapt will then send back to you, a proposal of the mounting configuration including a superimposed image and a list of all parts needed.
http://www.rehadapt.com/index.php/en/support-en/vms

 

3.    Mount’nMover

user rotating a mount n'mover mount

Mount’nMover is a mounting system that allows the user to easily make adjustments via levers at the front of the mount. One lever allows the mounted device to be tilted 0 to 90 degrees and anywhere in between and the other lever allows the mounted device to be moved in a horizontal plane and locked in multiple positions. It comes in three versions: Dual Arm, Single Arm and Tilt’n Turner. All three attach to a wheelchair, table or floor stand.  https://www.mountnmover.com/

Video of mount https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj7dgl9-bF0

 

4.  Ram mounts

This is a more lower cost mounting solutions as Ram Mounts is a mainstream mounting system, designed for mounting tablets into cars, however it does have brackets that will allow attachment to a wheelchair.  Typically a Ram mount will consists of a clamp, ball and socket arm and a cradle for devices such as a mobile phone, PDA, tablet etc.  This video shows how a tablet or can be mounted to a chair https://youtu.be/xIlQTgRtRrM

There are a number of useful clamps that could be used to attach to a wheelchair, such as the RAM Tough-Claw or the RAM Rail Base U-Bolt.

Ram Tough Claw clamp

RAM Rail Base U-Bolt clamp

https://www.rammount.com/products/toughclaw

https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-231U

Arms of various sizes can connect to these brackets as well as connected together with double ball adapters.

RAM double socket arm

https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-230U

The RAM X-Grip range provides useful universal tablet holders.RAM X-Grip cradle

 

 

https://www.rammount.com/products/tablets/xgrip

Virtual Mounting

When using portable devices we may need them mounted to position them in an optimal position for our use. Mounting can improve the view of a device and make it easier to operate its controls especially where the ability to reach, grasp or interact with physical objects may be limited.

Rehadapt now offer a Virtual Mounting Solution.  This is a new service of customizing their mounting systems to the specific characteristics of the individual.

First take a number of pictures from different angels of the location where mount is needed. Then note details of the make and model of the wheelchair, details of the device or switch to be used, which side it is to go on and any other requirements. Email all off to the service.

Virtual mounting system

Rehadapt will then send back to you, a proposal of the mounting configuration including a superimposed image and a list of all parts needed.

http://www.rehadapt.com/index.php/en/support-en/vms

Cup holder mount for wheelchair

Holding a cup in a position to drink out of it, can be difficult for some people. To give some independence there are various solutions available, if someone is drinking at a table. However for mobile options, when it is required to mount a cup from a wheelchair, there are less choices available.  The Mobilia mounting system used to offer a good cup holder, however this mounting system is no longer being manufactured.

After doing some searching, I found these two alternatives.

Rammount Cup holder

Rammounts is a well-established mounting systems for portable devices into cars.  Their range of products include clamps that can fit around circular tubing. These clamps will fit onto a wheelchair frame.  Also part of their range of components they have a drinks cup holder.  Using various other components such as their double ball sockets and bars you can customise a mount to suit anyone.  An advantage with this cup holder is that it remains level. So if its mounted to a wheelchair that tilts back, the cup should remain level.

Ram mount cup holder

http://www.rammount.com/products/drink_cup

 

Drinkup Travel Lite

Another option is Drinkup Travel Lite.  It comes with a long straw that can be bent into position.  The straw uses a non-return valve so that the liquid does not fall back into the cup if the liquid is only sucked up partially. This gives the opportunity to take only small sips at a time.

drinkup cup holder

http://www.drinkup.uk.com/drinkup-travel-lite-560-p.asp

LITE MOUNT from Daessy

Daedalus Technologies have been in the mounting business for a long time now. Their main product is the Dassey mounting system which is well designed and versatile. This mounting system has a wide range of brackets, device adaptor plates and connecting bars that will fit most communication machines onto various wheelchairs. Although still a good option for mounting it was initially designed when communication aids were heavier than they are now. For example, the old Dynavox 3100 weighed 2.12kg or the IBM’s ThinkPad laptop weighed 2.09kg. However now the new iPad Air2 weighs just 437g which is less than a quarter the weight of previous devices.
Now Daedalus Technologies have a new mounting system out called LITE MOUNT. The new Lite Mount is specifically designed for lightweight devices such as iPads, Tablets and Switches. It is available in 2 versions, Adjustable and Indexed.

Litemount AdjustableThe LiteMount Adjustable consists of a round frame clamp to fit onto the wheelchair frame, adjustable balljoints, various length tubes and a quick-release base. The balljoints have an easy handle adjustment and the round frame clamp can fit to either 1” round frames or onto tubing ⅞”, ¾”, 22mm & 20mm using sleeves.

It has an overall length of 28 inches and is suitable for devices up to 1.5kg.

 

 

 

Litemount Indexed

The LiteMount Indexed consists of a round frame clamp, 2 indexed (hirth-coupling) adjustable joints, various length tubes and a quick-release base. The indexed joints can be adjusted using an Alan key to change positioning. Again the round frame clamp can fit to 1” round frames and also onto tubing ⅞”, ¾”, 22mm & 20mm using sleeves. It is suitable for devices up to 2kg.

Note: using the mount as a switch mount you need to change the quick release fitting to a switch fitting.

Suppliers Daedalus Technologies http://www.daessy.com/ , Mounts and More http://www.aacmounts.com/ and Techcess http://www.techcess.co.uk/