Home > Photography > Dinky may be its name, but there’s nothing…

Dinky may be its name, but there’s nothing trivial about this smartphone tripod

The Dinky Connector Pocket Tripod might just be one of those essential accessories that mobile photographers can’t live without. This small gadget doubles as a portable tripod for your smart device and as a charging cable.

It’s a USB cable for charging and data connection with a computer, but it’s also a small tripod for taking photos or a stand for doing a video chat on your phone, watching movies on a small tablet, or reading a novel on an e-book.

According to its inventor, Daniel Shannon, the patent-pending Pocket Tripod took two years to develop. “Most of the design headaches all came from the same source: making the Dinky little,” Shannon says.

Related: Our 6 favorite tripods currently available for the iPhone

dinky-connector-tripod-2

The Dinky Connector Pocket Tripod in a stand position.

This minty-green, Gumby-looking silicone accessory has three legs. With the center leg stretched backward, the whole thing becomes a tripod or stand. The end-cap of the center leg has a USB connector that you can plug into a computer, power adapter, or portable battery. Sliding down the yellow-and-blue collar (which is called the Rubberized Phone Holder that attaches to your mobile device) reveals a pop-out Apple Lightning or Micro USB connector. The nifty feature about the Micro USB connector is that it can flip around to match the position of the device’s USB port. An LED light comes on when phone is properly plugged in.

“The flip-out connector saved about 1/2-inch in length,” Shannon says, a design choice that helped to keep the accessory small. “To keep it small and strong we used 25-percent fiberglass in polycarbonate parts in the sliding collar and phone holder.”

The grip holds devices up to a half-inch thick, so you can leave most phones in their cases. It supports phones in either landscape or portrait positions when used as a tripod. For video chats, watching movies, or reading a book, you can turn the tripod around to create a low-profile stand for cradling a phone, small tablet, or e-reader.

The Pocket Tripod also comes with a standard tripod mount adapter that lets you screw on compact cameras, up to 8 ounces. You can attach a small point-and-shoot camera or an action camcorder that has a threaded tripod mount at the bottom. Another included adapter lets you attach the accessory to a larger tripod.

Costing just $17 from Dinky’s Amazon store, the Pocket Tripod is available with a Lightning connector or one with Micro USB.

Related: Kenu’s Stance is a mini tripod for iPhones, but moonlights as a beer bottle opener