Rapper and business mogul Will.i.am has announced plans to release a new piece of wrist-based, wearable technology. Bearing the semi-eponymous name i.amPULS, it will allow the wearer to make calls without using a mobile phone.
The diminutive colossus of pop appeared at a distinctly unglamorous Salesforce conference in San Francisco to announce the new gadget, and asked us to imagine a world without a smartphone and then "dream up something for the wrist. What would it be?".
"I built something that fits on your wrist, and you don't need a phone to make it work," he announced.
The retailer PC World described the pint-sized hitmaker's product as a "beast of a wearable", although anyone would think its PR people have an interest in bigging up the gizmo.
It will come with 1GB of memory, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a pedometer and accelerometer and will use a 3G connection from AT&T, which has managed to snare the exclusive rights to the i.amPULS.
"I almost forgot, it also has 4kW of D.A.F.," he told Billboard. [Readers are free to look up that particular technical specification]
The rapper-cum-producer-cum-talent show judge-cum-Cheryl Cole duet singer is besties with Prince Andrew, and has been working on a scheme called iDEA which aims to find the next Steve Jobs.
His grip on punctuation rules may be tenuous, but that hasn't stopped Mr i.am soaring to the dizzy heights of superstardom as easily as one would scale the fake cliffs of Basildon Climbing Centre. He is also a canny businessman, having been an early investor in Beats.
Famed as a judge on The Voice and for writing irritating pop music, he has long professed an interest in technology.
Yet the deadly dull worlds of sysadmins and data centres are not for our hero, who likes to speak of an emerging sector called "fashionology".
"When you have something you want to put on your body, there are options," he added. "You don't have one pair of shoes or jeans. In the world of fashion you need options. And in the world of wearable tech, I'm providing another option for you."
With all this in mind, Will.i.am. prefers to call his creation "the cuff".
Is this a bit silly? Maybe. But even Apple is getting involved in this made-up space, after sucking up to the fashion crowd ahead of an anticipated Apple Watch launch.
At $499, Will.i.am's watch will compete with devices from Samsung, Motorola and LG, as well as Apple itself. Only a cynic would say it doesn't stand a chance against them.
Some of the cooler members of El Reg are pop pickers of some vintage, so we'd like to amend one of Mr i.am's favourite lyrics for our own purposes.
"I've got a feeling, woah woah, that the cuff's gonna be a bit shite. The cuff's gonna be a bit shite. The cuff's gonna be a bit, bit shite."
We thank you. ®