Let me make something perfect clear up front. This blog post is about predictions…not necessarily reality, at least not to the best of my current knowledge. We live in an iPod world and there’s no getting around that. I have to believe it’s only a matter of time until successful marketers figure out a way to make the iPod an essential piece of hunting equipment. Think that’s a foolish statement…alright, well time will tell. But for the record you heard it here first.
These days iPods or similar such mp3 devices are everywhere. Kids are flocking to the devices at a head-spinning rate, but let’s face it an ever growing number of adults have them, too. I confess I have one of the most basic models, the iPod Shuffle. For about $80 it’s a nifty little device holding not only music, but for me I download and listen to various podcasts of interest. The little device will hold about 150 songs plus hours and hours of audio podcast productions. Best of all, it weighs just a few ounces and slips into my pocket with such ease I hardly know it’s even there.
So you think it’s just a fad? Well, it certainly could be…but my hunch is the very portable iPod has become for audio listeners what the computer once became for most of us—a convenient tool we simply didn’t want to live without. And much like the computer, when you stop to think about it the iPod really has lots of possibilities for use in life…and that includes for the sportsman.
What really got me thinking about this was an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today. It describes how technology has infiltrated even the world of bird-watching. For some, no longer is it cool to just traipse out into the woods with a pair of binoculars around the neck and a field guide in hand. Nope, for some birding enthusiasts they must have their video iPod loaded with a program such as BirdJam. BirdJam is a bird song identification tool that allows the user to match sounds they are hearing in the wild with known (recorded) bird sounds found loaded on the portable iPod. To some purist birding enthusiasts the use of electronics in the woods is sacrilegious. For others, the opportunity it affords is embraced because it further enhances the satisfaction derived from the sport.
Back to being a sportsman. So how, you ask, could the iPod possibly become a tool for the hunter? Well, one very simple way is in predator calling. Right now some companies, such as FoxPro sells their top-of-the-line electronic hunting calls that use the very same sound storing technology as an iPod. Even though I have often lusted over these nice, feature-packed FoxPro units I could not justify spending several hundred dollars for such a single-use device. Yet, when you stop to think about it isn’t most of the FoxPro callers really nothing more than the sportsman’s version of an oversized iPod? Heck, you can purchase and download game sounds right from their website to customize these calls.
Here’s the deal. I predict that soon some innovative company is going to turn the regular iPod into an effective piece of hunting gear. To the extent that electronic game calling is legal, I also predict that for a mere fraction of the cost of regular electronic game callers, hunters will be able to use this burgeoning technology to their advantage if they choose to do so.
Okay, now let me make something perfectly clear. In posting this prediction I am not advocating that all hunters should run out and purchase an iPod. Of course, with the Sportsman’s Blog Podcast premiering on March 23rd (I know, a cheap plug), it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. What I am saying, however, is that the iPod has seemingly become a part of our culture—whether you view this as being good or bad. And with that statement made, I have to believe it will only be a matter of time until we see innovative companies looking for ways to further expand upon the many possibilities that exist with that technology.
Look, if a company recognizes that a person must have their iPod when sitting on the toilet…is it really so far-fetched to think they might also develop a need for an iPod while out in the woods? Time will tell, my friend, time will tell.
© 2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Allowed Without Prior Permission.