A company called Octa showed us its new WhaleTail device this morning at CES. It's an attractive little accessory that vacuum-locks on to the back of an iPad or other mobile device and acts as a flexible stand, mount or holder.
For $59.99, you get a three-piece combo: the substantial Vacuum Dock that sits on the back of the mobile device and pumps out air to form a powerful seal; the WhaleTail, which fits on to the dock and can be bent into various shapes to make a convenient stand; and a flat piece to replace the tail if you just want to hold the unit in your hand.
Octa says the seal is good for six hours once you've pumped it up properly, and that it will lock on to any non-porous surface; the Kindle Fire can present a slight difficulty because of the embossed lettering on the back, which lets air leak in unless you cover it completely with the pump.
The twin flukes of the whale tail are obviously well suited to providing a stable stand, but if you thread the tail through your fingers they can give your hand a better grip when holding an iPad.
Octa currently sells only in the US, although a spokesperson insisted the firm is happy to ship to Europe, and hopes to set up a UK distribution deal this week. And if the whale isn't your favourite tailed animal, other bio-mimicking tails to lock on to the Vacuum Dock are in the pipeline for release throughout 2012. We vote for scorpion.