Apple Design Technology

The iPod: to infinity and beyond…

Originally posted on Always-On

As an example of the dichotomy of social engineering, the iPod is a shining example of the paradox: a piece of socially exclusionary technology that is socially fashionable.

While a great fan of iPod + iTunes, at times, I have to double-take at the fervor surrounding the diminutive device.

So imagine the delight of the long-suppressed product designer in me when I saw a series of designs by “Robert Brunner, who was Apple’s chief designer from 1989 to 1996 and who oversaw the design of the PowerBook line.”

It’s worth noting that the designs are ‘blue sky’ concepts and nothing more.

To be sure of not incurring the wrath of either Pentagram or Business 2.0, I would like to offer the obligatory acknowledgments: product images by Pentagram Design: Robert Brunner, Kenny Sweet, Darren Blum, and Symon Whitehorn.


By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

5 replies on “The iPod: to infinity and beyond…”


I like the look of the watch and I love the idea of the camera, but idea of adding an iPod to a watch is a bit silly – what if someone wants to borrow your iPod? You’d need a spare watch …

I’m all for making things smaller (but not too small) but I like my devices to be separate unless they combine similar functions.

Maybe I’m just anal.

With all these devices, I have a serious problem with the keyboard. Either it is too small, or you have to use a stylus using which makes me feel like a pigeon.

But they all look really cool… 10 years ago, similar looking stuff could be easily put in any sci-fi movie set in 2025…

Wayne, You should discuss the blackberry as well. It is revolutionizing the workspace, at least here in USA.

“Wayne, You should discuss the blackberry as well…”

I suppose that I could, but before belching forth superlatives and withering criticisms alike, i need to have had one in my grubby little mittens.

I’ve got a review comin’ up on my own phone…

The watch looks awesome, and the camera doesn’t look too bad either. The good thing is that, from my experience with apple products, they are one of the only companies that manage to make products look good and work well!

Hi SoulSniper, and thanks for posting!

I think all of the gadgets look pretty good, whether Apple would be brave enough to move into that kind of design space is another thing all together.

What you see here in terms of design is a feel that is less Apple and more Sony.

Something approaching consumer-orientated.

Now, Apple could either move gradually to something like this, by adopting the same material finish as the PowerBook line, or hope to make the white plastic and chromium finish the new aesthetic.

Who knows?

Tell you what, though .. we’ll find out in the next two years or so…

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