UCF alumnus creates innovative phone stand
Your heart skips a beat. You're overwhelmed with worry as you look at the ground, where your phone has fallen face down.
This scenario happens all the time, but a UCF alumnus hopes his new invention will solve this problem.
Knuckies "is a universal phone stand that can stick non-permanently to any phone or case, with a twist," its inventor, Michael Diaz, said in an email.
The twist is that Knuckies has a grip that is attached to a bearing, making it possible for users to spin their phones. The phone can be easily clipped to a grocery cart, a bouncy runner's hand, or simply be propped up on a flat surface.
"[It] pulls people to put their phones down and interact with their phones in a physical dimension. [It's] not only solving the problem of dropping the phone, but actually getting on the phone less. When you're spinning the phone, you're not on it," Diaz said.
His high school friend, Mark Baker, said he saw Knuckies and was excited to get the product himself, which runs for $24.99 on knuckies.com.
"It's functional and also fun. There's no other product like it. There are other phone stands, but none of them involve skateboard bearings or a handle," Baker said.
Working as a substitute teacher in Broward County, Diaz saw students tossing, spinning and dropping their phones, and the idea for Knuckies was born.
"There are still things to be made on this planet. The more you train yourself to identify problems, the more you develop habits that help you generate ideas," Diaz said.
Knuckies, a cute way of saying knuckles, was launched on Sept. 2, and Diaz says his teachers at UCF helped inspire him.
"I feel so blessed to have gone to a college like UCF. I don't think I would have gone through half the projects, or have the inventions I have, if I hadn't had the inspiring, well-rounded, accomplished and supportive teachers that I had," Diaz said.
One such teacher, whom Diaz still keeps in contact with, is Robert Porter.
"[Diaz] was one of those standout students largely because of his creativity and his high energy. He was like a sponge; he wanted to learn everything and he was not afraid to experiment and try out new knowledge," said Porter, who taught Diaz's Applied Strategic Management class.
Diaz consulted Porter throughout the process of creating, patenting, branding and launching Knuckies. Porter added that anyone can get advice from the College of Business.
"I encourage students from other colleges to realize that the College of Business is a great place to go if you have ideas and you want to kick them around and see what happens," Porter said. "You don't have to be attending classes there, we welcome everybody to come share their ideas."