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Philips Tapster shies away from retail

Despite early praise and design awards, Philips' Tapster stereo Bluetooth headset will never see the light.

Philips' sleek and unique stereo Bluetooth headset, dubbed the Tapster for its slick touch-sensitive controls, garnered early praise from press and even took home an iF Product Design Award. Sadly, the gadget will never grace retail shelves, and while Philips elected not to enlighten us as to why, I think I have an idea: it doesn't work.

Well, at least our review sample didn't. The major draw of the Tapster is the playback and volume controls, which are manipulated via light tapping and swiping on the ear modules. In theory, this is a sweet idea, because pressing tactile buttons on an in-ear headset has a tendency to dislodge the earbuds. Unfortunately, although we tested the Tapster with four different devices, it never worked completely as advertised. Sigh...well, at least we got some pictures worthy of ogling.