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iBangle: Total Cool or Total Crap?

| 20 Nov 2008 15:57
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Will this 80's fashion-inspired iPod model ever see the light of day?

iPod designs have come a long way since the original made its debut seven years ago. Through hardware enhancements, they've morphed into sleeker, sexier music players and incorporated other slick features into their ongoing evolution. They're highly fashionable, but are iPods considered a fashion accessory themselves? They may be in the future. Meet the iBangle.

An unusual concept formulated by Indian designer Gopinath Prasan, the iBangle is a prototype iPod device that combines 80s fashion - hey, the 80s are still making a comeback - with the portability and function of the iPod shuffle. The futuristic, aluminum bracelet packs the audio punch and the style needed to get you through the day. To keep it stabilized on your arm, a single button press inflates a blue lining to make it nice and snug. Though there's no screen, a voice interface tells you what tracks you're highlighting, and a touch-sensitive pad is used for song selection and navigation. The iBangle does away with plug-in headphones, opting for wireless blue-tooth audio transmission.

As it was pointed out to me, bangles are typically worn in stacks. While the cost of procuring two armfuls of the devices would likely be too prohibitive, it's feasible any number of peripheral fashion accessories could be launched with it. Presumably, the iBangle would come in an array of bright colors to match a variety of outfits, and sets of non-audio emitting bangles could be released to match. The possibilities are limitless...and ridiculous.

The device has yet to progress beyond the concept design phase, but it might. Should it come to fruition, would you buy one? What do you think? Is the iBangle the wave of the future or a tsunami of bad taste?

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