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Low rent FaceTime: Create your own FaceHanger

Webcams are cheap and ubiquitous. iChat ships with every Mac. Despite those facts, it's becoming ever more common to FaceTime from our offices. We can carry our conversations with us as we travel from one room to another, and FaceTime basically guarantees that both parties are properly equipped and ready to chat, even before you tap your first button.

The biggest problem with FaceTime remains arm fatigue. Tired arms drift downwards. This eventually produces a minimally attractive conversation between chins and nostrils instead of, well, faces.
So this morning Sande and I put on our thinking caps and brainstormed up the FaceHanger. Shown to the right, it consists of cardboard, duct tape, and the top of a wire hanger. Think of it as the iPhone equivalent to the DIY iPad car kit featured here on TUAW in June.

To use, you hang the holder on your monitor and slide in your iPhone as you conference on FaceTime. The holder's open front slot permits you to use tethered devices as well as untethered ones. When working at your desk, there are times calls arrive and your iPhone is busy charging. The FaceHanger allows you to continue charging while accepting the call.

Open slots at the sides help accommodate the built in speakers and microphones. You may want to add some extra holes to enhance this access, but in our tests, both speakers and microphone worked adequately with only side air access. (Thanks for the hint, methodicjon.)

The big advantage of our FaceHanger is of course, hands-free use. With it, you can continue typing and otherwise doing work as you consult with other parties and yet easily slide the phone out to show items on your screen. If you have a killer rabbit puppet on-hand, the FaceHanger allows you to present a full-throttle attack without compromising camera angles -- instead of having to hold the camera in your non-rabbit "talk to the hand" hand, you are assured of continued video coverage. Of course, this does somewhat ruin the whole hand held Blair Witch Project effect, but something's got to give for the sake of art.

The FaceHanger also frees up your hands to use sign language, if you don't have any killer rabbit puppets.

If you need to hit the road, the FaceHanger can be used with portable harmonica holders -- although we at TUAW specifically and proactively caution you against the likelihood of public ridicule.



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iPhone

Webcams are cheap and ubiquitous. iChat ships with every Mac. Despite those facts, it's becoming ever more common to FaceTime from our...