October 22, 2014
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Unemployed handyman hopes to market iPad stand
John Howell
HANDYMAN: With a working model of his invention, a fully adjustable tablet stand, Peter Broomfield hopes to reach his goal of $15,000 on Fundable, an online crowd-funding site. The stand holds and charges all four iPad models.

Do you need a stand for your electronic tablet? If so, Warwick resident Peter Broomfield, 28, said he has the perfect one for you, as it blocks glare and also directs sound toward the user.

As an iPad owner and self-described handyman, Broomfield said his girlfriend of seven years, Christina Nicoletti, asked him to make her a stand for their iPad so they could watch Netflix in bed. Within a few days he met her request.

“It turns out that the stand is very versatile. We use it all over the house now,” he said. “Friends started asking about it and said, ‘You should do something with this,’ so that’s what I’m doing.”

From comfortably reading in a chair, referencing a recipe while cooking, following along with sheet music while playing a musical instrument, or using it during a digital conference or meeting, Broomfield said the stand is a dream come true for tablet owners. It is compatible with all four iPad models, an iPad exclusive.

Propping the iPad on his lap or chest in bed isn’t the best method, as he said it often slips from his hands, never mind risking falling asleep with the device. At times, he has woken up to it crashing to the floor.

“But that doesn’t happen with the stand,” said Broomfield.

To get his idea off the ground, Broomfield, who has been unemployed for nearly a year, is raising money through Fundable, an online crowd-funding site. So far, he’s raised $2,010 and hopes to secure $15,000 by Dec. 20.

The fully adjustable body stand adjusts from three to five feet and is made of brushed stainless steel, while the frame is a little bit bigger than an iPad and constructed from a walnut stained hardwood. The base also has a USB port, so new and old iPads can be charged while docked and won't run out of power while in use. The device sits on a shelf in the frame, rocks back into place, and is secured with a toggle.

If he reaches his goal, Broomfield’s stand will sell for $150. For now, he is offering special sales. The first is an “Early Early Bird” special for $100, with only 20 available, while the “Early Bird” special is $125, with just 50 available. He’s sold at least 15 at this point.

“There’s a big market for them, and there are a lot of them out there, but they are really ugly,” Broomfield said of other stands. “They look like glorified microphone stands. Mine looks like it could go in a Pottery Barn. This is by far the most functional stand you could get for the money. I was looking at one that was $300.”

Since being unemployed, Broomfield, a former manager for a Providence manufacturing company, has made some sacrifices: he and Christina never go out anymore. He is responsible for $1,000 per month for his mortgage, plus other expenses.

“I hate collecting unemployment,” he said.

He hopes to raise enough funds to get his first production run so he can start making his own money again.

“It is by far the best stand out there,” he said.

Learn more at www.theipadstand.com or make a donation at fundable.com/the-tablet-stand.


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