JBL’s smart case is a fun innovation – but I can’t see it catching on

When I learned that Apple had filed a patent for a new AirPods case with an interactive display, I admitted to audible sniffles. “Oh, for God’s sake, another pointless gimmick from the same company that gave us the butterfly keyboard and iPod socks,” I whimpered in my own head. “What a pointless innovation. In any case, they’re not really going to do that to make It. That will never catch on.”

Of course, it was moments later that I realized that American audio manufacturer JBL had not only beaten its Apple rivals with the patent battle, but it had gone a step further and really made the flip thing. Yes, JBL’s new Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds became the first to feature a charging case with a fully interactive touchscreen display, turning an idea that seemed like a ridiculous utopia into three-dimensional, scratch-resistant plastic. We have had the pleasure of owning the JBL Tour Pro 2 Which Hi-Fi? offices for a while now, and the same question always pops up when I stare at that new charging case: “Why”?

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