With all of the hoopla about the new iPod Shuffle, you're probably wondering if you'll get one. iPods are a great way to listen to music, even though I don't like iTunes that much. I've had an iPod Classic 160GB for about a year now and I'm satisfied with it. The iPod before lasted for about 5 years before the battery stopped working. I don't plan on getting an iPod Shuffle, really what would be the point? I'd only change if I got more space for music and a widescreen touch display on the same iPod. That doesn't stop designers from trying to come up with better concepts to beat Apple's.
Designer Alexei Mikhailov had some ideas of his own about the future of iPods. He names his concept the iStick and it combines aspects of an iPhone and an iPod Touch into a small device. All four sides of this gadget are sensitive to touch, allowing for plenty of ways to interface with it. The silver cube on one end is a scroll wheel. The earbuds are wireless as well. We've already blogged about this concept, but at that time, the iPod Shuffle in its new mini format wasn't yet out. Did Apple get some inspiration form thin concepts like these to make their own itty-bitty version?
It definitely looks cool, but I wouldn't hop onto the wireless earbud thing right now. Even though corded ones can be a hassle, they'll always be better than cordless ones. Plus, you rarely get any interference. The rest of the device looks really interesting. Fitting all that technology into such a small footprint might be an issue. Just like the Garmin Forerunner 405 watch, I guess that the iStick will need some kind of touch lock, to prevent inadvertent pushing of the controls.
From what I've seen of the new Shuffle, it looks like Apple miniaturized the iPod as much as they could, trying to create the smallest iPod ever. This in essence isn't a bad thing. Except for the whole earphone thing, I guess that they did well. Will the iStick ever be made? Probably not, but a concept like this can serve to inspire designers trying to improve on old concepts. [via GearCrave]