Goo.ey –  WITH every technological advance, from voice activated controls to a new generation of image recognition software, an increasing number of gadgets are less reliant on tactility to wow consumers. Although it is a physical product, the goo.ey will not reverse that trend. An accessory designed to grip tablets or smartphones to smooth surfaces so as to offer hands-free functionality, it is the creation of entrepreneur Rachel Verghis, who wanted to be able to enjoy video calling with her friends and family without holding a device.

Essentially a thin sheet of polyurethane epoxy with 3M adhesive which fixes to the rear of a range of Apple and Samsung smartphones and tablets, the goo.ey is designed to clamp firmly onto surfaces like glass, mirror, ceramic, vinyl, laminate and metal. Its chemical make-up allows it to be removed again with ease time and again without compromising its all-important adhesive qualities.

Given the advent of fast broadband speeds and the ubiquity of Skype and FaceTime, the gooey’s capabilities are not only useful but timely. The question is: does it fulfil its purpose? The answer is a tentative yes, although whether you deem it a practical everyday accessory will depend entirely on the apps you favour as well as the layout and furnishings of your home or office.

Tested on a second generation iPad with Wi-Fi, the device’s 601 gram heft was well supported on the majority of surface types. A good rule of thumb when using the goo.ey is the more glass, the better. On windows, the device achieved a firm purchase and could not be dislodged without a good tug. On a kitchen fridge – ideal for displaying recipes while cooking dinner – it also stuck fast.

What is more, the promise that no residue will be left rang true every time, with not even the slightest mark on left on a pane. True to the blurb on the back of the box, it also affixed well to mirrors and television screens, although quite why you would wish to put a tablet over a television screen remains unknown.

On other types of material, however, the suction of the goo.ey felt less certain. On large and smooth tiles, it gripped with ease, but on small and textured ceramic areas, it felt as if it struggled to fully support the iPad, without any other cases or covers attached. Although the tablet did not once fall of its own accord, at one point it came away from the tiles after I pressed the home button (the manufacturer does have a disclaimer absolving itself of responsibility for any damage caused).

Cosmetically, the goo.ey is available in a range of colours. Our test device was a white fascia with a solid body of colour. Although appealing to look, this meant it covered the distinctive Apple logo on an iPad – this may not bother some users, although those who covet the Californian tech firm with a religious zeal may be less than happy at having their tablet’s identifiable insignia hidden from view.

The goo.ey is a welcome addition to the dizzying array of smartphone and tablet accessories. If you happen to have a desk adjacent to a window, or an abundance of mirrors in your home, it is an ideal way to watch a film or take a video call. Other prospective buyers may wish to weigh up their own circumstances before taking the plunge. The goo.ey is an uncomplicated and auspicious piece of kit, though its scope is more limited than the technology might suggest.



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© Martyn McLaughlin 2007 - 2016 unless stated otherwise

Portrait by John Devlin