Microsoft strikes deal with G-Hold maker for Surface grip accessory

The inventor of the G-Hold who first rose to fame as a rejected participant on the British TV show Dragons’ Den has secured a contract with Microsoft to produce a similarly circular grip for its Surface range. The ergonomic device has already been picked up by Apple with plans to supply all of its warehouse, sales and software testing divisions.

The G-Hold is a suction or sticker-attached ring that’s placed on the back of a tablet. Although it folds flat, a circular hold can be raised from the surface and slotted between the user’s fingers, thereby giving them a comfortable and practical way to hold a tablet. Although originally rejected by Dragons’ Den investors, researchers found that the device could reduce repetitive strain injury in those who engaged in the heavy use of tablets.

That study saw the inventor, Alison Grieve, travel to the National Ergonomics Conference in Las Vegas in 2016, where both Apple and Microsoft became interested in the device. While the former has since linked up Grieve with its main supplier of ergonomic office equipment to outfit staff, Microsoft wants to make a commercial variant for its Surface hardware.

“G-Hold really adds value to Surface when it’s used as a mobile unit rather than at a desk. Microsoft [is] really excited about our product,” Grieve said (via DailyRecord).

Already 50,000 units of the miniature grip system have been sold, with each currently retailing at 22.50 pounds ($29) when ordered straight from the manufacturer. The G-Hold comes in a variety of colors and though initially aimed at tablet users, the universal suction cup or sticky design lets it attach to everything from Ebook readers to tablets and smartphones.

They even ship with a “compatibility” sticker which should work on devices with textured surfaces. While that might make you wonder why Microsoft needs a specific version for Surface hardware, there is a very real reason. We reached out to Grieve, who had this to say:

“The Surface version is the same principle but utilising low profile Velcro™ material that can bend with the kick-back stand on the back of the Surface. It’s just a bit more flexible than our other two options.”

It’s not clear at this time whether any other options or pricing will carry over to Microsoft’s Surface version of the G-Hold, but we’re told that the device will be available “this summer.”

Updated 04/24/17 by Jon Martindale – corrected number of sales and updated description of Surface version, based on comments from G-Hold.

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