I went to check out the new video iPod today. What was amazing to me, as I wandered around the store, were all the choices in accessories and "aftermarket" options that existed for my iPod. These are wonderful machines, no doubt about it, but they cost a lot less than a pump and yet, wow, is there ever a wide range of accessories to choose from. I know that a bazillion more iPod's are sold than pumps, but still, it shows that lot's of groovy things can be created to augment an initial product. And there are some obvious similarities between the pump and the iPod. Both are hard. Both are very complex and technical machines. Both need to be close to the user. Of course there are critical differences too, since the pump is a medical device that the user's life depends on (though I know a few people who feel that way about their iPod). The point I'm making is that it would probably be pretty easy to design a range of accessories to augment and integrate the pump better into day to day life.
So I did a little exploring, just to see what options existed in the category of attachment based on recent posts by myself and others. There were about a zillion sites for iPod accessories, solely dedicated to aftermarket iPod protection, personalization and attachment. Not that anything was very revolutionary (most of what I found were skins of different materials to protect or personalize my iPod) but still there was a range of stuff to choose from. I know the market is huge for iPods, but maybe the market could be bigger for pump accessories if there was anything you wanted to own or wear. I bet pump users have a different level of desire (and willingness to pay) for some choice, because of course, we live with the thing 24/7. Yes, it's a medical device, but also, it's a constant companion. Wouldn't it be nice if it didn't have to feel so medical or industrial or cheesy, when you integrated it into your life?
Compare, for example, the iPod "sport strap" system by Speck with the Minimed's "undercover" series:
Hm. Which would I pick? The one that looks finessed and considered and kind of cool, or the one that looks like some kind of bandage I'd get if I were in the hospital. No finessing of details here. Pouch, strap, velcro, done. The iPod system says sporty, serious, technical, functional. The "thigh/leg pouch" (that really is it's name! Oh be still my heart) looks medical, temporary, sloppy, and cheap. Both examples pretty much do the same thing, but the message they convey through form, material, attention to detail, even color, is SO different.