One could argue (quite fairly) that the last thing the world needs is another superfluous mass-produced device with a single solitary purpose. But absurd inventions sell by the millions every day, and Kickstarter has a way of pumping out every idea anyone has ever come up with while sitting on the toilet. Speaking of which — are you in the market for an extra hand to hold your phone or tablet while you’re using the loo? Say no more. This Kickstarter campaign wants to sell you the iSwift Roboarm phone holder, “a poop phone holder for toilet texters and Netflixers.”
Calling it a “Roboarm” kind of makes it sound like this thing will follow you around like a robot butler, holding your phone in front of your face so you don’t miss a second of your TikTok feed. That’s not the case. It’s really an adjustable arm with a multi-joint design you can swivel and position for various angles. Its base uses 3M adhesive and suction to cling to glass, tile, mirror, metal, and plastic surfaces. An adhesive-backed circle of metal sticks to the back of your phone or tablet and grips the arm magnetically.
“iSwift Roboarm is perfect for those long visits to the bathroom,” reads the Kickstarter campaign. “You can position your device perfectly and reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain. Whether you’re engrossed in video, straining to reach the next gaming level, or catching up on text messages, the iSwift Roboarm lets you take care of business comfortably. With iSwift Roboarm’s adjustable, multi-joint design you’ll always find the perfect position for your phone or tablet. No matter if you’re enjoying a cathartic moment on the toilet or soaking in a relaxing bath, you can easily adjust the iSwift Roboarm to any angle, in one fluid motion.”
A device like this is bound to be polarizing. Those with quick, minimalist bathroom routines might think it’s ridiculous. Can’t you put your phone down for five minutes? What on earth are you doing in the bathroom that would require a stand like this? But others are the type that bring candles, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine and settle in for a long bath, spa-style pampering, or just some precious time locked away from screaming children. When the bathroom is your sanctuary, spending a solid hour in a slowly cooling bath while watching Hulu can be akin to a religious experience. And of course, there are still more people who would use a phone-holding arm in the bathroom for…other things.
In any case, hundreds of Kickstarter users have enthusiastically backed the project, overfunding it by tens of thousands of dollars with weeks left before the campaign ends. Clearly, there’s a demand. If you pledge $49 or more, you get the iSwift Roboarm for 50 percent off, while $79 gets you a pair of them. Pledge $129 or more and you’ll receive the iSwift Pi as well, which is a more secure tablet-sized holder. Are there other products on the market that offer similar functionality for considerably cheaper? Yeah, but again, they don’t usually support tablets.
It would be nice, however, if the creators would consider a design that’s a little less industrial and utilitarian. The plastic and metal construction looks a little cheap for the price tag, and one would imagine that an all-chrome, all-black, or wood design would fit into the bathrooms of more discerning users a little better.