I’m a lot more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of it, but even I can see the appeal of Belkin’s new Auto-Tracking Stand Pro. For smartphone-toting content creators, this freestanding gimbal is the next best thing to having a dedicated camera crew.
Revealed at CES 2024, the Auto-Tracking Stand Pro ($180/£170/€180 from Belkin) is the world’s first Works with DockKit accessory. Affectionately known internally at Belkin as BB-83, for its Star Wars Droid-like appearance, it’s a desk-based, hands-free alternative to a handheld phone gimbal.
As long as you’re rocking an iPhone 12 or newer – and have updated to at least iOS 17 – it’ll use the handset’s subject detection smarts to automatically follow you around the room while you record or stream. There’s a full 360 degrees of pan, 90 degrees of tilt, and it’ll play nicely with a bunch of apps right out of the box.
FaceTime, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams are all on board, now that Apple has opened up the DockKit API to third-party developers. That means any app that enables video or movement can use it after an update.
You can use the front-facing camera if you want to see what it’s capturing, or the rear cameras for the best possible quality. Silent motors let the gimbal move without ruining your background audio.
It uses NFC to pair to your iPhone, and keeps it firmly in pace using MagSafe. Use the bundled power brick and it’ll keep the phone refuelled with 15W wireless charging, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power mid-livestream, recording session, or video call. The built-in rechargeable battery is also good for up to five hours, and the dock is smart enough to stop charging your phone when away from the mains.
Like all of Belkin’s new releases, the Auto-Tracking Stand Pro is made from a significant 75% post-consumer recycled plastic.
The Auto-Tracking Stand Pro with DockKit is up for pre-order on the Belkin website right now. Expect to pay $180/£170/€180, and don’t forget to supply an iPhone. It’ll start shipping later in the year.