Nearbuds are magnetic clips that attach firmly to each stem of Apple’s latest Earbud headphones. They allow you to clip the headphones behind your neck when not in use, thus avoiding wire tangles and the other options of either having them dangle around your ears or hang loosely from underneath your shirt. Furhtermore, each end sticks together to form a loop, thus fixing the annoying problem of having a lump of tangled wires in your pocket.
I’ve been using and improving my prototype Nearbuds for years. I stick them to my bed frame when I’m sleeping, to my fridge when I get home and to my gearshift when I’m in the car. If I want to walk around with just one earpiece in and one ear free, I just stick them together (see photographic examples). Visit www.nearbuds.com to see what they'll look like for real with our slick 3D rendered design completed images!).
There are other magnetic earphone accessories on the market that attach to the earphone cords. These are all great ideas, but haven’t adequately addressed the physical and aesthetic awkwardness of two dangling earpieces, regardless of where they hang. Nearbuds are also fixed into place, so they won't be spinning around in your fingers while you’re trying to attach them behind your head. Furthermore, Nearbuds do not add to the problem of tangled wires by adding more cords or cables.
Another unique perk that sets us far apart from our competitors is the addition of the Nearbuddy. This is a third magnetic clip that fixes to the Apple Earbud’s jack, thus allowing it to be stuck to the earpieces when not in use. This can be attached behind your neck if you’re not plugged into a device, or can be stuck directly together with the Nearbuds forming a loop, which is far less likely to get tangled while in your pocket.
My goal with Nearbuds has been to create a sleek, lightweight and discreet multi-functional product that blends seamlessly into the Apple Earbuds design.
In order to achieve the above goals for this product, I’ve had to limit my market demographic to specifically complement Apple’s most recent Earbuds. This has to do with the unique design of the Apple Earbud’s oval stem. By tailoring Nearbuds to Apple’s Earbuds, I’ve achieved the sleek and dynamic functionality that I was searching for.
For the first batch of Nearbuds and their Nearbuddy, I'm going to hire a 3D printing team based out of New York City. They're a great bunch of people who deliver high quality products and meet all of their deadlines. I'm currently working with a local designer and all-round master of the impossible who goes by the name of Geoff Marshall. He's been tweeking the designs and taking care of the digital realm thus far, and we've had a wonderful professional relationship and functional friendship for over seven years now.
Risks and challenges
One challenge that we have been grappling with is the need for precision with regard to the shapes and sizes of the Nearbuds and their Nearbuddy. We know that it will take several attempts to get the 3D printed prototypes perfected to the exact sizing we require, however we are prepared for these steps and are confident that the delivery dates are realistically set to overcome any related obstacles.
I hope to one day evolve this concept into a similar product that will adapt to other “bud” style headphones, while not requiring additional cords and still remaining fixed into place to avoid dangling. That will be Nearbuds 2.0.
I’ve been developing this idea for several years and I need to start the evolution of their production somewhere, hopefully with your help. For the time being, my apologies to those without Apple’s Earbuds who won’t be able to benefit from this product…yet. I promise, I’m working on it!
On another note:
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