Recently, a great little piece of technology was brought to our attention. Nick Dangerfield, the founder of Playbutton, sees his product as the next possible marriage of fashion statement and entertainment. All in a slick little package at an affordable price.

Just WHAT are we talking about? Playbutton is a small, rather ordinary looking button housing a small mp3 player. It has the usual functionality, including: Play/Pause, Skip, w/ Audio Controls. It uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and has a port for your own headphones.

What makes Playbutton stand APART from say your Ipod Shuffle or the like is that it is in fact marketed as wearable music albums. You can not put more music files on the device. You can not remove music files from the device. In fact, you can not in any way alter the files or device. The end result is a fashion statement melded with entertainment. The planned market is to sell music albums as merchandise, utilizing wearable album cover art.

The planned price? Possibly $30, or even as low as $15, just over the price of a newly released album on CD or Itunes.

Nick continues with further information:

What is Playbutton?

It’s like a record that plays itself. And very button-like, very light. It could hold up to 2gb, with adjustable volume, five hour battery life and it’s rechargeable. We’re still fiddling with the sound quality, but there is a possibility that we could make each hardware, in terms of equalization, dedicated to each specific album. Might be one of the first times that there is hardware exclusively dedicated to an album, because there is no need of versatility.

Why the button?

The button is one of most iconic merch items for bands. It’s an unequivocal token of affiliation with the band. I think in that way, as well as the nostalgia about it; this brings together things from the past with higher technology. It’s a closed system so it’s a statement saying this is the music I like and this is how I think we should listen to it. So we surrender to the choices made by the artist and we listen.

What was your inspiration?

I think there is an interesting thing about the exchange of music, like you’d see someone and say, “Oh, I really like that record”, and exchange button for button. And gifting music, which is not done so much these days. I absolutely have nothing against iTunes, of course, I actually buy a lot of music there, but at the same time the experience isn’t entirely satisfying. We wanted to look for a way to put our records in physical form, now that CDs are on the way out. There was nothing in the digital realm that would contain music and play music. So we came up with Playbutton, that combines the two together.

Is there a connection between fashion, music and technology?

We have a sentence that is a bit rude, but we say, “Playbutton is an ideal hotel room for trysts between fashion designers and musicians”. It adds a dimension. Fashion designers have told me that this is interesting because music is incredibly important, both in the creation process and when I want to show my clothing.

What’s next?

I think it’s important to bring music back to the stores. We will also be working on new music and reissues.

What we have is a rather newer technology offering married together with an old-school method. The “button” in and of itself hearkens a rather nostalgic and chic’ feel to it. With the ever increasingly popular trends and fashions revolving around entertainment the way we want it, where we want it, it would only make sense to further this to how we want it to look.

But with that said, why not take this rather innovative idea further? One need only do a cursory search online to see the myriads of products marketed and branded for their intended geeky (said with pride!) demographic. Perhaps a gaming system utilizing buttons, or even further, belt-buckles? Watches? Bracelets? Pendants? The list goes on.

The potential for mobile gaming brought together with fashion statement and personality is endless. Imagine a backpack adorned with various buttons and other novelties containing gaming titles easily picked up and used with either a current, or next-gen mobile gaming system.

But why must it only be mobile? Perhaps utilization of consoles such as Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and more notably, the PC platform?

All in all, we love the concept and actively look forward to seeing it in use on a more regular basis in daily life.