Geico isn’t the only gecko-related things that involve your automobiles. This very literally named Grippy Pad borrows the science behind the gecko’s feet and will grab onto your car’s dashboard, allowing users to place their gadgets or miscellaneous items on the pad without it slipping around while the car is in motion.
The Grippy Pad is a silicone-based rectangle pad that utilizes just the stickiness to cling on to a surface without the use of velcro, tape, magnet, or clasps.
The inspiration came about after the separate development of a “Geckskin” adhesive technology by a team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The team’s rendition of the Geckskin pad is capable of holding up to 700 pounds while staying glued onto any surface, including glass, without leaving behind residue. It kind of makes us wonder what 700-pound item anyone would carry around that needs a placement on a car’s dashboard. Can you stick on a baby on this Geckskin too?
With this Geckskin technology, developers say the science is a classic display of how nature has always provided human with simple answers to product design.
“Our design for Geckskin shows the true integrative power of evolution for inspiring synthetic design that can ultimately aid humans in many ways,” said Duncan Irschick, a functional morphologist and member of the Geckskin research team. Irschick has reportedly studied the gecko’s clinging abilities for more than 20 years before contributing to the development of the Geckskin pad.
He also says this Geckskin technology can be used in a variety of everyday circumstances, such as adhering a 42-inch flat-screen television to the wall without a metal wall mount. The pad can also be released from the surface without applying a whole lot of force, making it easy to remove and reuse in different places.
The entire research is also backed by U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) so this technology is some serious stuff. Still, the idea of trusting an index card-sized pad to hold up our expensive TVs makes us nervous, even if the pad is that strong.
You might not need that kind of power, so we recommend, ahem, sticking to the lower scale version of the pad that’s primarily made for your vehicles. This way, you can place your relatively lightweight phone on the Grippy Pad and be handsfree when putting a call on speaker. You can also slap on a GPS system on your window or dashboard without having to set up a suction cup or plastic holder. When the Grippy Pad become dull, the manufacturer says you will just have to wipe the pad clean with a damp cloth to bring the stickiness back to life.
The Grippy Pad is available in grey, red, black and clear, and is apparently also resistant to high temperature or sunlight. Let’s hope so, because we wouldn’t want gooey, melted silicone on our iPhones on a hot summer day. You can pre-order the Grippy Pad on Firebox.com for £6.99, or approximately $11.
Correction: To clarify, the Grippy Pad does not use the exact Geckskin technology as developed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While the pad borrows a similar idea as the Geckskin adhesive, the University in no way endorses or helped Grippy Pad create this exact product as pictured above. Thank to Al Crosby, a lead investigator in the Geckskin research at UMass, for relaying this information to us.