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Tech Review: iSoundCap – the iPod Hat

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As promised, the PR guy takes a look at the iSoundCap, a hat that holds your iPod and earbuds, allowing you to move sans cord with your music blasting in, on, and through your head.

When a press release came across my desk for an iPod hat, I wanted to see what it was all about.

The product is an interesting idea. Wristbands, belt clips and other wearable iPod accessories have been available for years. But it looks like the makers of this product wanted to get the cord as far away from arm swipe range as possible.

As a result, iSoundCap, Inc. came up with the product of the same name that hides all the cords and lets you stow away your Nano or Shuffle.

The company, led by President Karl Foust, is involved in a marketing blitz this month to get the word out about the functional headgear.

The iSoundCap, Media Credit: http://www.isoundcap.comFor Foust, the idea for an iPod hat came to him out of common sense.

"I could not stand getting entangled in wires any more," he said. "Whoever practices some sport activity knows what I'm talking about!" Even with other devices like lanyards and armbands, Foust said one thing remains constant: wires.

The public relations rush iSoundCap unleashed this month is starting to gain some American steam.

Gizmodo and Engadget have run coverage of the product but the immediate response from their readers has not exactly been positive. In fact, the posts have been pretty brutal.

That has not deterred Foust and company who continue to market their product, appearing on WINK TV, a Florida CBS affiliate and WSVN Fox 7 in Florida.

Foust is in Las Vegas this week promoting the product in other video spots.

Of course, I had to obtain a press copy of the iSoundCap to take a look at the product for myself.

The iSoundCap is functional, and no wires dangle around once you get them tucked into the included spool.

Reaction to the iSoundCap has been fairly mixed. It is generally thought that the hat would garner more popularity if it came in different designs or incorporated licensed sports team logos. This would be an effort to bridge the gap between the functional and the fashionable. This is a niche product that needs a few design and visual tweaks.

One student even expressed fear that she didn't think it was healthy to hear an iPod right up close on your head.

The hat in action, Media Credit: http;//www.isoundcap.com"[It is] probably better to keep that kind of frequency as far away from your brain as possible," said Northeastern University physical therapy major, Sarah Dufault in a previous article. "I don't think it's safe."

The company responded August 16 clarifying that they purposefully utilize the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano because they employ flash memory, have no moving parts and do not emit any frequencies or radio waves.

"They are not cell phones, the do not generate any radio signal and do not have any wireless connection built in. Safety is a primary concern for us as well," the company said.

This is mentioned, not because there are any dangers associated with wearing an iPod on your head — and I do not believe there are any dangers — but this is a public relations discussion. Thus, it is important to note that the original article with that quote was published early Wednesday morning and the company responded within a few hours to clear things up.

That gets a gold star sticker in the public relations world because the company did not respond to any opinions or cause an argument — they merely cleared up a technical issue that could have caused trouble for their marketing efforts if left completely unchecked.

And, after all, if cell phones haven't killed us yet, a Nano certainly won't.

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