Apple launched iPhone 7 along with airpods recently. Airpods have been critized by almost everyone.
Apart from the issues with the price, usability and sound quality; airpods suffer from a major design flaw. Something that even kids could have pointed out.
This image is from a patent on a cordless jumping rope. It not only look like airpods; it also suffers from similar problems. Lester Clancy patented the cordless jumping rope in 2003. The handles include moving weights, which simulate the feel of a rope moving.
Although the product is available in the market, some people buy it, but it never really took of to come even close to displacing the traditional skipping rope. Most potential customers thought, that if could can jump without a rope, they could as well jump without these handles. So most did not buy it. The rope in the skipping rope is there for a purpose – To the keep the handles together.
Most people, especially kids, will find it very difficult to keep these two handles at the same place for a considerable time after the purchase. Compared to Airpods these handles are quite big. Just imagine how will one keep airpods together. People are bound to lose one or both the handles of the cordless jumping rope. And even if they lose one of them, they cannot use the product. You cannot skip rope with just one handle. So, there is no redundancy in the system. Similarly, most people will find it very uncomfortable to use just one airpod.
So Apple should have included some kids into their control groups. Kids could have told Apple about the cordless jumping rope, and why airpods was a bad idea.
But we must give credit where it is due. Apple made the right choice by going wireless. We definitely need a wireless connection between earphones and the smartphone. But we need to avoid completely separating the two earpieces. I use a wireless headphone that looks like this. It pairs easily and quickly with the smartphone, can be placed on the neck when not in use and it is pretty sturdy as well. More importantly, I will not lose one of the earpieces as they are joined together. So, Apple can quickly plug this design flaw by connecting the two earpieces together. In fact, Case maker Spigen has already rushed to Apple’s rescue. They are selling a strap to connect the two airpods, which solves the problem. Apple might start providing these straps along with airpods.
We hope Apple finds courage to take advice from kids in future.
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This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.