The Belkin Auto Tracking Stand Pro is perhaps the most practical device I've seen at CES 2024, even if it sounds rather pricey at $180. Essentially, it's a battery-powered iPhone mount that unlocks a lesser-known iOS 17 feature, and it's super convenient for recording content. It's one of our Best of CES 2024 award winners as part of the 23 best gadgets of the show.
I've seen plenty of iPhone stands before with face-tracking, but they all have the same issue. They need to be paired to the product's companion app in order to actually capture any content. The Belkin Auto Tracking Stand Pro eliminates this friction by letting you use it while you record in the iPhone's native camera app.
That's thanks to DockKit, a new framework Apple released as part of iOS 17. It's actually the first product announced to leverage DockKit, a developer SDK intended for a iPhone stands like Belkin's. DockKit-compatible accessories are able to connect directly to the iPhone's camera without the the need for third-party apps.
I had a chance to demo the Belkin Auto Tracking Stand Pro in real-time, and it worked seamlessly. I held an iPhone up to the 360-degree swiveling stand, and a notification much like you get when your pair your AirPods to your phone popped up from the bottom of the screen. I approved the pairing request, and within a few seconds, I was ready to record video.
The iPhone camera identified my face and proceeded to follow my movement as a paced around the stationary stand, which Belkin positioned on a tripod. You could also simply place the base on a desk, which would be ideal for when you use your iPhone for FaceTime or as a webcam for your Mac.
The device can run on battery power for up to five hours, so it can be brought on the go, too. That said, when it's plugged into a battery source, it'll charge your iPhone with 15W wireless charging.
As a content creator, a battery-powered, face-tracking stand is pretty much the ideal product for solo capturing situations. This way, I could move around a space without having to constantly reposition my tripod. Whether that's worth $180 depends on how much you're capturing content or using your iPhone as your webcam. Pre-orders still start at the end of the month from Belkin.com.
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Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.