Following the release of the product, both ear infection rates and the model’s Instagram follower count reportedly skyrocketed.
Photo by Sharon Roth
Reports find that Apple’s wireless earbuds have experienced a tumultuous three years on the market. Once a rare commodity, AirPods have become a common sight in a user’s ears or cast aside on the ground. Users have expressed strong concerns over their small size, which make them prone to loss. However, a recently announced invention by UCSD student Cary Tran could potentially wipe out those fears: AirPods in the form of earrings.
“Why not?” Tran responded, when asked about his motivations. “People like their AirPods, people like their earrings. It just makes sense to put them together.” When questioned about the feasibility of individuals actually wanting to wear such a product in public, he pointed out, “If people are fine having enormous hoops, small Eiffel Towers, and Pokémon dangling from their ears, what’s so different about AirPods? They seem less obtrusive than some things I’ve seen before.”
Tran explained that the original concept actually comes from his roommate, Daniel Bartlett, who supposedly has lost over five pairs of wireless earbuds since the start of the school year. “I keep telling him that it is not worth it to keep replacing them, but he won’t listen to me,” Tran said. “Apparently he cares that much about how he looks, so I told him that as a courtesy I would give him the first working prototype of these earbuds and pierce his ears myself. He didn’t seem enthusiastic about that last bit, though.”
Tran’s current proposed model is to merely straighten out paper clips and tape them to AirPods. He admitted that significant work needed to be done before submitting a patent for approval, which would cost roughly $300.
“Sure, I’ll tweak the design to make it more comfortable, but the basic structure won’t need to change much. Why do more work than I need to? I’ll eventually add different colors and styles for an extra $50 or so, but honestly, I’m surprised people haven’t jumped on this idea sooner.”
Tran was met with overwhelming support upon polling other people living in his dorm building, who likewise expressed incredulity at the lack of such a product on the market. Some even offered to set up a means for him to collect donation, until he said he didn’t really want the support of strangers who “probably don’t actually care that much.”
“It’s like they think I’m Steve Jobs or something, and that since I’ve had this vision I’m all set to drop out and start my entrepreneurial career,” he said. “And they’re not wrong about me being a sort of a genius, but there’s a lot of complications in between. Mostly I feel like I would just end up spending most of the donations on groceries, which would make me feel guilty.”
Tran revealed that once he gets beyond this “dream stage,” he will reach out to UCSD students for coworkers. “This would be a mutual relationship,” he explained. “I’m not looking to exploit cheap student labor to assemble these or anything. Only Daniel’s really losing here since I kind of took his idea without asking, but he will receive the first working pair. Anyways, I’d be interested in having people who can explain how all of this works and suggest improvements, both regarding aesthetics and functionality. I would be super grateful because to be quite honest, all of this technology stuff is new to me. To tell the truth, I’m actually a theater major that only recently learned the difference between earbuds, AirPods, and headphones.”