Apple has devised a pocket-sized companion that (hypothetically) does it all: music, videos AND books, sans the nagging smartphone or clumsy smartwatch. Cupertino, you’re so close.
In a patent application published recently by the U.S. Patent Office, Apple sketched out such a device, a headphone-case-meets-pocket-computer with a touchscreen display and the prerequisite guts for flicking through songs, watching movies, peeping the weather or even navigating somewhere via a mapping app. Put another way, time is a flat circle and Apple invented the iPod all over again.
Judging by the filing, Apple sought to patent something reminiscent of a teensy iPod Touch or iPod Nano, but with a nook for charging a pair of wireless earbuds. This is only a patent application, which means there’s currently no (zilch! zero!) indication a supercharged AirPods case like this will exist beyond some doodles.
Sure, the company could be exploring such a device, given its well–established interest in smarter earbuds. However, Apple may simply wish to lay down some metaphorical roadblocks for the competition via this filing. In any case, an iPod renaissance? Sounds dreamy to me.
“The coolest thing about iPod is that you can take your entire music library with you, right in your pocket,” Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said millennia ago, in 2001. In the years since, everything and nothing has changed; music is arguably still the coolest thing about the iPhone, and it’s one reason why iPod nostalgia bubbles up time and time again — in the form of an unauthorized, iPod-inspired app; wistful tweets; a silly smartwatch accessory; movie cameos; letters to an editor; and so on.
The iPod is dead, but our great yearning for devices that do less? That lives on.