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Smart Home

You can now buy Geckskin gecko-inspired wall mounts

These wall mounts stick to a variety of surfaces with a technology inspired by geckos' amazing feet.

Felsuma

Hanging stuff on your walls doesn't always go smoothly. You might never find a stud to securely drive nails into. Maybe your screws refused to stay in their plastic anchors. Materials company Felsuma might have a compelling alternative. Called Geckskin, Felsuma says its mounting devices firmly stick to almost any surface. They're reusable too, and peel off easily to prevent damage. The best part is you can buy some of these adhesives right now, at an accessible $1.50 apiece (about £1.10 or AU$1.90).

Geckskin might sound like science fiction. The technology is based on phenomena found in nature. It was originally dreamed up by a team of research scientists at the University of Massachusetts. The group's goal was to mimic gecko lizards, specifically their amazing feet. Geckos are uncanny climbers. Many can scale even the smoothest of surfaces, even glass. What's more impressive is these creatures aren't light-bodied insects -- they can weigh 3.2 ounces (100 grams) or more.   

Right now Felsuma has 13 separate Geckskin devices listed on its website. They're grouped into four categories (introductory, experimental, preorder and concept). Ten of these items are available for purchase. Interesting examples include the $5 Griphanger Hookstrap, $6 Gripseal Strip (which serves as a weather strip for windows and doors) and the $1.50 Griphook FM.

The Griphanger Hookstrap is one of many devices with Geckskin technology.

Felsuma

The Griphook FM qualifies as experimental but sounds remarkable all the same. You can apply it only once. But it's designed to tightly grip uneven surfaces such as raw plywood and the like. Another Geckskin adhesive, the Rectangle Bow Pad, sells in a four-pack for $3. Also experimental, the pads are dual-sided (with Geckskin on both sides) and made for use on smooth, rigid surfaces. I see these as being useful for mounting smart home hardware -- think sensors or even thermostats.

While many Geckskin devices are experimental, they can support objects with some heft. The Griphook FM, for instance, has successfully held 10 pounds (4.5 kg) on highly textured surfaces. Felsuma rates the Griphanger Hookstrap for weights of up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg). If you're intrigued, take a look at Felsuma's Geckskin hangers for yourself.