We have so many portable electronics these days: cell phones, mp3 players, GPS units, dashboard cameras, Sirius Satellite radio handsets, DVD players, hand held game units like the PSP and Nintendo DS, and the list goes on. So many portable gadgets that can be used inside a car and yet we have no standard means of securing them and providing power for a all of these devices in any kind of standard fashion. Where are my “cup holders for gadgets”? I’m so very tired of suction cups falling down, weighted dashpads sliding off the dash, air vent mounts blocking my AC or just letting my expensive device dangle by it’s power cable because there’s no place to put it while using it.
I want to see the auto industry provide us with the gadget form of a cup holder. Instead of holding our favorite beverage container, these gadget mount points would provide us a means to secure our portable electronics so that they can be used in a hands free fashion and yet won’t slide around the car or dashboard while in motion. I envision several anchor points around the car so that the driver and passengers can enjoy them. We don’t even have to develop a new standard for these anchor points since we can use the same design as picture cameras already enjoy with tripod mounts. I wish every car contained several female anchor points for a 1/4-20 screw with a small depression next to support an anti-self unthreading mechanism that could hold a few pounds (this is what all cameras already use as a universal tripod mount, so a standard already exists… use it!). Put a couple of these anchor points on the dashboard, a couple in the center console and a couple for the back seat would also be nice. I also want USB power supply ports near these anchor points as well so I can plug my portable device into the car’s power supply. Lets move away from requiring the old, clunky 12 volt interface we currently use to power/recharge our devices and adopt the much more portable USB cable.
Aftermarket device holder manufacturers can make us flexible stalks to mount on these anchor points to hold our various devices if our device doesn’t have a means to mount itself directly to these anchor points. Some of these flexible stalks could even incorporate a USB power cable to help ease the cable jungle that might develop. Maybe even provide an “audio IN” jack near the front console mounts as an easy means to plug satellite receivers and audio player devices into the car’s stereo system, too.
C’mon automakers, give me my gadget anchor points already!