The iPod - 'Era of the Connected User'
The iPod , through its many stages since being released in November 2001 has made a vast impact on the world of technology in contemporary design. While the iPod was not the first mp3 of its kind but it was the one that made its mark. The designers of the iPod didn’t just care about the quality of the object disregarding how it looked and felt, they created the experience that came along with using and owning the object. This statement that was made by apple through their design style in their first release is the same that we see nowadays. The big changing point was the way that the physical object worked in harmony with the user interface and they both complemented each other. This was the first time that people had small computers on their person at any time they wanted and completely changed the way people interact with each other and the world. ‘Gadgets are no longer stand-alone products, they connect to a range of software and online services.— and the iPod was the first to do that.’
The aesthetic of the iPod was inspired by the 1953 Braun T3 transistor radio which was designed by Dieter Rams. And the scroll wheel in the middle was inspired by a Bang & Olufsen home phone which used a wheel to scroll trough lists and the different menus. The wheel scrolls clockwise and becomes an intuitive action when using the iPod. The user stops having to think as they scroll through the various menus. The design is now succinct throughout all the apple products but not just that we have come to expect the high level of design and simplicity that the iPod gave us in everything we now use.
The iPod introduced the idea of “ubiquitous access to content“. This is a very important distinction to make about the ipod. As it is easy to forget these days that everything was new in 2001. It is natural now for everyone to walk around with a mini computer in their pockets, we no longer even need a cable to connect our earphones to our devices as we now use bluetooth so often. It changed society. It became the norm for everyone to be able to listen to music on the go. It was a divine for everybody. Not limited to a certain demographic.
Everyone form teenage to business people had one. It changed how people interacted as it is now the norm for people to have earphones in. I know I walk around my house with them in and my roommates are constantly scaring me as they walk in to the kitchen and I am absorbed in an audio book or a song or a podcast. It changed how we get our news and how we can listen to books on our commute and easily transfer from a cd in your car to the iPod in your earphones.