Belkin has a new iPhone stand that’s useful enough to be interesting but annoyingly limited.
The company’s “Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking” works with the iPhone 12’s MagSafe feature, clipping your phone into place using the device’s built-in magnets. It then uses face tracking to follow you around the room, rotating so it’s always facing you.
The catch is that this feature doesn’t work with video calls on Zoom, FaceTime, or any other similar service — surely one of the biggest potential use cases in a pandemic. In fact, the tracking feature only works when recording video through Belkin’s own iOS app. That means you can’t even use the stand to make sure your phone is always facing you as you follow along with an exercise video in your front room or a recipe in your kitchen.
Being able to record video that tracks you will definitely be useful to some people, and Belkin says its iOS app can connect directly to social media accounts (including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and others) to make posting easy. But it still means the mount is more of a specialist tool than a device that could help more consumers.
Other relevant specs: the mount works in landscape and portrait orientations, can be tilted vertically from -15 to 30 degrees, rotates horizontally through 360 degrees, and is powered by three AA batteries. And of course, because it uses MagSafe to attach to your phone, it only works with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The mount will sell for $65, but it’s only listed as “coming soon” on Belkin’s website.
Update March 31, 2:56PM ET: Updated the story with confirmation from Belkin that the mount’s face-tracking feature only works when using the company’s iOS app.