On Tuesday (6 December 2022), crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger unveiled its latest device, Ledger Stax, which was designed with the help of legendary designer and engineer Tony Fadell, who is known as the “father of the iPod”.

Here is Fadell’s bio from Wikipedia:

Anthony Michael Fadell is an American engineer, designer, entrepreneur, and investor. He was senior vice president of the iPod division at Apple Inc. and founder and former CEO of Nest Labs. Fadell joined Apple Inc. in 2001 and oversaw all iPod hardware, software, and accessories development. He is known as the ‘father of the iPod’. As the co-creator of the iPhone, he also worked on the first three generations of the iPhone and oversaw all iPhone hardware, firmware, and accessories development from March 2006 to November 2008.

In May 2010, he co-founded Nest Labs, which announced its first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, in October 2011. Nest was acquired by Google in January 2014 for $3.2B. Fadell has authored more than 300 patents and was named one of Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ in 2014. In 2016 Time named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod and the iPhone as three of the ’50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time’.

While speaking on stage in Paris at the two-day Ledger OP3N event (6-7 December, 2022), Fadell said:

It’s a pleasure to be sharing the stage with my friends, Ian and Pascal. 2 years ago, they approached me to help them. They asked, ‘Can you work with us to reinvent the Ledger?’ I was curious about these new technologies, and the security team that built them… The idea of reinventing a Ledger wallet chased me. I couldn’t run away. I saw a big opportunity and big problems to solve. And I like solving big problems. So I convinced myself.. I had to accept this challenge…

Right now I carry around a bunch of things in a wallet in my pocket: – credit cards – an insurance card – a transit pass – my identification card In my other pocket is my phone…and it actually has a lot of those cards on it. Why am I carrying both?… Because…I don’t trust everything on my phone. So, if we can’t trust our smartphones, but we want all the convenience they deliver – what do we do? We need a secure digital wallet – Ledger’s got that. Not. A. Single. Ledger wallet has been hacked. That’s insane…

I decided to try everything on the market today. This was the reality: – Black boxes, lots of buttons, tiny screens, nothing intuitive. – Many different sizes, but very little distinction. Nothing intuitive. And they look like other products that already exist!… Just like a wallet is unique to each owner, each new Ledger has to be personalized. All the existing hardware wallets are anonymous: black plastic and blank when they’re off… I looked at another iconic object: the Kindle. It’s a display that can show images, even when the power is off. That lets you make it personal. Make Ledger your own. So, we use E-Ink to make a new Ledger wallet personal.

The Ledger Stax, which costs 279 euros in the EU (£241 in the UK), is available for pre-order now from Ledger’s website, and it has the following specifications:

Source: Ledger

The estimated delivery date is end of March 2023:

Source: Ledger

Yesterday, Wired published an interesting article (by their Editor at Large Steven Levy) about the Fadell’s work on the Ledger Stax.

Levy wrote that Fadell, the former Apple executive who cofounded Nest and created its smart thermostat, is working on his first major design project in years. During a meeting to discuss the product rollout, Fadell examined a group of photos of the Ledger Stax, and provided feedback on the design. He pointed out that the photos did not adequately show the device’s curvature and suggested that the product be less “Darth Vader” and more “Rebel” in its design. Fadell also emphasized the importance of the Ledger logo, which he wants to be as recognizable as the Apple logo.

The Ledger Stax has the potential to be a game-changer in the world of cryptocurrency, but its success is not guaranteed. The crypto market has been undergoing major changes in recent months, with the value of many cryptocurrencies plummeting and regulatory uncertainty looming. Additionally, Ledger faces competition from other hardware wallet manufacturers. However, Fadell and his team remain confident in their product, and believe it will be well-received by the market.

Despite the challenges and uncertainties, Fadell is excited about the Ledger Stax and the potential it has to revolutionize the way people store and access their cryptocurrency. “In five years, every time you see that L you’ll think Ledger,” he said, referring to the company’s logo. “Like the Apple logo stands for the brand.” Fadell hopes that the Ledger Stax will become the go-to hardware wallet for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and help make the market more mainstream and accessible.