Hands-free viewing using your tablet or phone while in bed can be tricky. We've suggested using a plate stand in the past, but Lifehacker reader James has a different solution that doesn't need a bedside table: a structure made from tent poles and velcro.
James explains his idea -- the basic structure is fairly evident from the pictures:
I finally have a solution for watching cartoons in bed on my tablet! This is something that I've been wanting to do for ages. This is the most simple and effective solution I could think of that most anyone would be able to implement with as little outlay and time investment as possible. The tent poles cost $25 (2 packs of 6 segments) and the elastic and velcro was $1.80. All up, it took 30 mins tops. The only tool required was a hot glue gun to fix the Velcro to the elastic.
Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys some night-time viewing and wants to avoid copping a tablet to the face, or just relax without having to hold up the tablet!
All controls on the tablet are accessible, none of the screen is covered and you can position the tablet at different angles to suit your preference. You could make different size elastic straps for any device, but ours suits a Nexus 7 and an iPad mini.
The pole won't be in your way when you want to get out of bed, and is secure enough to be left in place all night and day if you fall asleep while watching. If you want to store it, just fold up the poles and put it under the bed!
Excuse me, I'm off to a camping store. Thanks James!