Will.i.am Says He Wants To Be Like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Here's Why There's a Long Way to Go

By Tom Pritchard on at

You might have heard of will.i.am. He's a musician and member of the Black Eyed Peas, a talent show host on The Voice UK, and for releasing a bunch of pretty terrible gadgets over the past few years. In a new interview with the BBC, the musician/tech entrepreneur expressed the importance of aspiring to be like people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - which is at the core of why he himself is in the tech world.

Judging from the aforementioned gadgets, produced by his company i.am+, there's long way to go before he gets close to that level. Here's a quick reminder of just how bad the stuff he's released actually is.
Let Us Count Some Reasons Why You Won't Want Will.i.am's New Headphones

Let us count some reasons why you probably won’t want these i.am+ EPs headphones in your life:

  1. They’re styled to look like vinyl records
  2. Apple explains that there are “engraved messages — ‘right and wrong’, ‘left and gone’ — tucked behind [the] earpieces to guide proper ear placement.”
  3. We are told on the product page to “listen closely for... will.i.am’s voice when you turn on your EPs or connect to Bluetooth.”
  4. They come packaged with a “special lifestyle booklet custom-made by will.i.am.”
  5. They cost $230 (that's around £157, if you could buy them in the UK right now).

Will.i.am Is Back With Another Terrible Gadget

Buttons look nearly identical to the EPs i.am+ sold at the Apple Store earlier this year. Same bullshit “vinyl record inspired” design, same price point, but now they come in rose gold and are backed by Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner. As a huge fan of both rose gold and Naomi Campbell (and a Kendall Jenner Instagram follower), not even those three things can save this from certain disaster.

Will.i.am's New Phone Case: Worse Than His Band

As I post this through gagging fits, I look for some logic as to why one would wear one of these £200 abominations around one's neck as Will.i.am modelled at the launch of the device. Maybe you have always dreamed of having your own Jesus piece, but you just can't pull it off. This might be the next best thing. It also would match nicely with your golden Gucci iPhone.

Will.i.am's Puls Smartcuff Review: Like a Prison Sentence on Your Wrist

Will.i.am really wants you to know that Puls is your phone. This smartcuff is going to let you disconnect while staying connected, just like any self-respecting rockstar who can afford a staff of trained assistants. But while voice recognition is admittedly pretty spot on, your horribly named assistant AneedA is functionally inept. She answers questions with the help of Wolfram Alpha, but nearly everything you ask her to do requires a second confirmation using either touch or voice. It's more trouble than it's worth.

Will.i.am Thinks We're Idiots, Makes Another Smartwatch

Undeterred by his past hardware disasters, the Black-Eyed Pea’s thirsty frontman just announced a wrist computer called the Dial. Though some tabloids say this watch is going to “take on Apple,” the Dial looks just as atrocious as its predecessor. Although demo videos and product shots show Will.i.am maybe learned a thing or two from the Puls Kerfuffle, the Dial doesn’t exactly offer anything substantially new; it’s only offered here in the UK; and you can only get it through a two-year contract with Three for about £20 a month.

They say failure is necessary to achieve success, though, so maybe Will.i.am is just making sure he gets plenty of practice in. His ideas are nice, and the message that people should aspire to be like rich (presumably intelligent) businessmen working in tech, rather than celebrities, is something most of us can get behind.

Still, Will.i.am needs to do a bit more work if he wants to get to that same level. Maybe releasing a gadget that isn't awful would be a good place to start.