Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Car Vent Mount PRO with Magsafe is an accessory for the newest generation of iPhones which allows the user to mount their smartphone on an car air vent. The convenience and access to the iPhone while driving allows easy use of the navigation functions without distracting the driver. The ideal location of the car air vent puts the iPhone at eye level when driving so that the driver can keep their eyes on the road. With the introduction of magsafe technology, we had the opportunity to improve our vent mount range using the magnets as an attachment method for easy operation. A ball joint in the back of the housing allows the user to create the optimal viewing angle for comfortable usage of the product. The final touch is a cable management spool which stows a charging cable for immediate deployment.
Driving and smartphones have become an essential combination for all users. The smartphone's list of driver assistance apps have grown since the inception of the iPhone. Navigation, music, podcasts, as well as phone calls are accessible now with driving modes so that the safe operation of the vehicle can be maintained. However putting the smartphone in a location that is ideal is always a challenge. The vent mount solves this problem with its attachment to air vents which are elevated for easy access. Creating a vent clip which could interface with a high percentage of vehicles took several weeks of research and testing to find the correct solution. There are many mechanically driven clip solutions which requires the user to do a series of complex actions. Our goal was to make this as simple as possible by making everything plug and play. We built the vent clip with a deceptively simple design and covered the exterior with rubber to provide function as well as a refined appearance. The dimensions of the clip opening have been tuned such that it has high compatibility with no need for additional mechanical levers. Hidden between the housing and the vent clip is a cable management spool to stow charging cables. The other challenge is the question of mounting and removing the device easily. By being able to magnetically mount the smartphone to the vent mount, we have removed the potential for user fault. Also the combination of a grippy silicone material in combination with the magnet ensures a secure mount with a low probability of the smartphone falling off the mount.
The design of the product is based on pure forms to complement not only the iPhone but the car interior as well. The new design language of the iPhone is extremely geometric and simple. The Car Vent Mount Pro mimics this with broad geometric sides while blending it with a pure cylinder which acts as the standoff support and ball joint assembly for the product. In an effort to minimize the harshly mechanical nature of the ball joint, a shroud was built to cover it with groove details to inform the user of its high adjustability. One form flows into the next creating a solid assembly which assures the user of its robust construction and durability. All major interface points are adorned with rubber or silicone to assure the user that the Car Vent Mount Pro will operate without damaging its surroundings. The final touch is the metallic paint which echoes details and accents commonly found in the car interiors. The combination of all these elements creates an elegant yet robust solution which can be used with minimal to no help from a manual.
Belkin continues to be a class leader for smartphone accessories and the ability to be first to market on key products has ensured success. The design of the product needed to be elevated in order for placement at the Apple store as well as other retailers. The Car Vent Mount Pro was part of the Apple keynote address when they announced the launch of new devices. We had to ensure that our product integrated well into their device ecosystem while still retaining the Belkin design approach and style. With it being placed in the store at launch and with its refined aesthetics, the Car Vent Mount Pro had a very successful launch for Belkin and provided increased visibility for our company. The amount of buzz and digital traffic created by this product will help the launch of future high profile products. With this product, we continue to build trust with the public that Belkin creates and builds high quality products that can be relied upon to function properly for many years.