September 21, 2007 Out with the old and in with the new. That’s the standard approach to keeping pace with rapid developments in consumer electronics. But what if there was a way to delay obsolescence and extend the functionality of devices instead of automatically relegating them to landfill. This is the idea behind the IEye concept by Thomas Miller. Presented as an entry in to the “Create the Future Contest”, the concept proposes extending the life of Personal Media Players by attaching an add on device that includes a video still camera and microphone to boost functionality and re-purpose the existing unit.

The IEye would attach to the dock connector of a media player such as an iPod, which then acts as the storage device and monitor to view the content as it is being recorded. This content can be stored for later transfer to a PC for editing and/or burning to DVD. The IEye would also transform you player into a portable video conferencing device by streaming the audio and video wirelessly using Wi-Fi or 3G. The camera in the IEye concept would aim to offer higher resolution and improved quality over in-built cameras currently found in most hybrid cell phone/Personal Media Players.

Thomas believes his idea will not only increase the life of current model players, but will also help drive purchases of new players by offering increased functionality at a relatively low cost.

This is just one the innovative entires featured in the Create the Future Contest , which is still taking entries until 15 October 2007. Categories include Consumer Products Machinery, Equipment and Component Technology, Medical Products, Sustainable Technologies and Transportation.