2021 seems to be the year for face tracking products. The Belkin Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking is certainly an interesting accessory for iPhone 12 and above users.
What is the Belkin Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking? Well it is a stand that can rotate 360 degrees to track your face when you have the companion app installed.
There are built in magnets installed that will hold an iPhone 12 in either portrait or landscape orientations, and it will work with a MagSafe case. The stand can be adjusted manually from -15 to 30 degrees vertically.
As our readers know, I always test products that cross the DRN desk thoroughly before forming an opinion. Sometimes when you pick up a piece of tech and you can’t help but notice shortcomings before you even get too far. The Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking from Belkin unfortunately falls into this category.
Belkin with their vast portfolio of phone accessories, chargers and battery packs just to name a few, has chosen to in this instance, to power the magnetic phone month via … three AA batteries. This makes the device, well, extremely portable, easy to keep powered up as long as you have a supply of AA batteries. But it also means there is no option to use it to charge your iPhone.
Getting it working is simple. You need the Belkin Mount app from the Appstore, pop your phone onto the mount, press and hold the solitary button on the mount for a few seconds until you see a blinking blue light above the button and then follow the bouncing ball on the app. The connection is via Bluetooth and you will need to give permission for the App to use it.
The Belkin Mount app will ask you to select the app you want to use the mount with, a choice of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Twitter or the built-in camera app. You also get to choose either the front or rear camera. Once that is done, you can start your broadcast.
And here is where the limitations of this product hits hard – the face tracking function, the star of this product, only works when you are using the Belkin Mount app. This means right now it does not support FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, WeChat, you name it ….. basically everything that is common and essential during the pandemic. I can’t even have the screen point at me while I am following a recipe in the kitchen.
Honestly I am not sure where Belkin was heading with this one. The idea is certainly great but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The Belkin Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking could have doubled as a MagSafe charger for starters. Support for all the key video apps would not have gone astray either. It is portable and have a niche market with TikTokers and producers of social media content, but it does not cut it as a business tool unfortunately.
The Belkin Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking is available for RRP AUD$79.95 from Belkin and major electronic retailers.