Shuffle Phones

Mark my words. I will tell you one more time - mark my words, this is what will be coming out so very soon I can taste it. Now, I have heard no industry rumblings about this idea, but one thing I have been inspired by was a wonderfully funny Do-It-Yourself Oakley Thump using the iPod Shuffle. Consider this, the iPod Shuffle is unbelievably small and light (and yes, it is just a glorified USB flash drive … but stay with me here), so this allows it to be used in ways music players have not been used before. People need to think outside of their “box” here (to borrow a corporate clichÉ). You see, the music player no longer has to hook to your headphones via a long, cumbersome cable that twists and turns its way up through every piece of clothing you are wearing - no, the music player can be your headphones now. Before we get to that, I must share my favorite two comments from that DIY Oakley thread I mentioned above.

1.) Posted Jan 19, 2005, 12:51 AM ET by Kapila Wimalaratne
If the Oakley Thump had been done in collaboration with Apple, those things would have come out with a GB of storage and support for Audible books.
Then I would have bought a pair.
Oh well.

2.) Posted Jan 19, 2005, 2:19 AM ET by jjvw
This might be unfair and offensive, but does Oakley’s customer base listen to audio books while acting all X-treme(!!!) and stuff?

“Shreddin’ it up to Jane Austin, good sir?”
“Why yes, yes I am.”

Now, are you ready to hear the idea? It is so simple you’ll kick yourself and swear you’ve seen it somewhere before. Which you might have. I don’t know, I am not you. Regardless, incorporate the iPod shuffle into a pair of headphones. Yes.

The perfect combination of portability of high fidelity.  Photo illustration out of my headphones and a shuffle I found online.

Imagine it, 120 songs (by Apple’s count, which is usually inflated by 10-15%), sitting on your head. Want to change a track? Simply reach your hand up and punch a button. I envision a glorified bracket that the iPod would be pushed down into, base first, and then would swing-click into place. This way, it would be simple to take the headphones off your head, hinge-out the iPod, and quickly turn it off. The necessary wires would be contained within the headphone’s frame, connected to the shuffle by a little plug with enough play to let the shuffle swing from remove mode to clicked in ready to rock mode. Note the graphic, showing my Sennheiser HD212 headphones (which I absolutely love … great bass and wonderful clarity considering the price point) … if they made a pair of Senn’s that did what I am talking about and sounded the way the HD212’s do, I’d snap them up in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t you? Wire-free music on your head, no worries, no nothing in your way? Perfect for every sport (except extreme water polo, etc.), and up to whatever you want to do.

I love this idea.

4 comments left



check this out: http://www.icombi.com/ i saw them at the mac expo, i’d totally buy ‘em except i’m broke.

Alexander Micek

Good call on those, they do not offer quite the versatility I imagined with a shuffle (iTunes integration, the ability to hook them up to any source, and Bluetooth is potentially a bit lower in sound quality) but those are pretty neat. I’ve seen ones almost identical, except the player was all encapsulated in the phones (no streaming needed) - but those were in Japan.

Shuffle phones could hit a very nice price point and sell amazingly well.


mwhahaha, I have one step better. It came to me one day when I wanted to take a nap. I’m afraid to share, since it’s such a good idea, but as long as I put it in writing I can claim I had it first.

So you got the headphone idea and the mp3 idea, now add in noise cancelation, pda and style. You make a stocking hat (it was winter when I thought of this) that covers the ear and has headphone-like sound producing things (very technical). Incorporate noise cancelation like airplane headphones and a smart chip that can be programed using RFID technology to set off alarms/reminders that only you can hear. (See I wanted to have an alarm to wake me up while I slept in the library.) Use embeded chips to store mp3s and opporate like the ipod shuffle and wham you have the greatest piece of headware ever.

Obviously there are some design issues to be taken care of and not to mention what color hat? But in the end I think the product has a strong possible market.


I think im gonna hold off on buying anymore personal music players until i can just have them surgically implanted in my head…..plus itll give the voices up there something to listen too… then maybe they’ll stop telling me to burn things.

Big gulp huh?……..Well see ya later!

                                                   Ryan M. Markoe

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