Cars have included cup holders for a few decades now. They have become the catch all for everything from actual cups to trash. Through personal experience I have found calling it just a cup holder is limiting a useful invention’s potential. Through a few friends and relatives, I’ve done some exploring into what unique and creative ways they use the space reserved for drinks in their cars.
Cups and beverages are the natural choice. We thank the auto industry for including a cup holder in the interior design of our automobiles. Cups of coffee, bottles of water, and even the now popular energy drinks can accompany us on our morning commute to the office, or when picking the kids up from school. Minus the occasional spill, most of us just take this simple application for granted.
As cell phones and PDA’s become more commonplace, so does putting these devices into the drink holder. With its location being closely within reach, it makes grabbing that call all the more easier. (I want to make a note that many states are passing “hands free” laws regarding cell phone usage, and although I agree we should be driving first, texting once stopped, the cup holder is still a logical place for these types of devices.) With most cars coming standard with multiple cup holders, there are numerous places for numerous devices, in addition to cell phones and PDA’s, there are pagers, remotes for push button start cars, and gaming devices.
The high school or college student in us still might use the cup holder for change. I know my own personal cup holder a few cars back was stuffed with pennies. When driving through the fast food window, or even waiting in line at one, it wasn’t rare for me to sit and count out fifty cents or more in pennies to pay for my burger or soda. I’m sure you’re smiling to yourself as you read this, because there never seems to be any coins in there over a nickel, besides that dirty dime, that’s hiding with the pennies.
I’ve saved the best (and newest) use for last, and if you’ve stumbled across this on the web you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are a few articles floating around that describe a way to build a laptop tray extending from your auto cup holder. It involves PVC pipe and a lot of duct tape or glue, but it is quite the intricate design. The few articles I’ve read suggest it’s only for when you’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Although a neat idea (I can’t say I agree with using it any other time than when your car is parked and shut off) and for more information type “cup holder laptop tray” into the bigger search engines, and the first few articles will show you a photo or two as well as a description.