Interactive Speaker Designs for Tech Lovers Music Is Life

Call me a fool, but I have never been very invested in a speaker. My focus would be on the lyrics of the song and as long as I got to hum along with the lyrics I was a happy soul. This cocoon of mine shattered after I took an interest in product design and joined Yanko! The sheer variety and functionality of the speaker designs we showevent have made me a fan of these designs, with a special focus on interactive speakers. The process of manually changing a speaker’s controls now feels like an almost meditative process to me and now that I have a superior collection of speakers with me, I still find myself in awe when a designer mixes this essentially physical product with a physical interaction that helps us feel the melody. This is the collection curated here today – speakers that attune themselves to your needs – be it associating color to music, using non-traditional interfaces or adding a new digital element to the design, each speaker will inspire you to look at this humble everyday object in a whole new light!

The motive for Ben Lorimore’s Sound Tool was to have a speaker whose process relies upon physical intuition, leading it to be emotionally stimulating! The main source of inspiration comes from the eccentric movement of a Conductor; as the volume of the orchestra increases, as too does the Conductors physical presence. This has been beautifully translated into Sound Tool by encouraging the user to increase the volume of the music by grabbing each end of the speaker and pulling them apart! To increase the volume of Sound Tool, grab it and make it bigger. To decrease the volume, compress it. Fully collapse it to pause, Sound Tool will not play at 0% volume. It’s welcoming to see a product that encourages tangible interactions!

“Atelier” is a hybrid entertainment system that marries high-end audio and television into one elegant unit. According to designer Kwanjun Ryu, it’s first and foremost a speaker to appeal to younger generations less concerned with TV. Created to rest close to the floor, it’s capable of delivering multidirectional, high-def sound that will envelop the user in their favorite tunes or talk radio. With the press of a catch, a 32″ screen automatically raises to reveal a full HD color screen. This means, when it’s not in TV mode there’s no blank, black box cramping your room’s style!

The Layered, at first glance, won’t give you even the slightest idea of what it is. So I’ll help you out. Designed by X-Factor, the Layered is a Bluetooth speaker, with the equalizer turned into an interactive tactile element on the top. Taking bands of frequencies and dedicating different controls to them, the Layered contains six transparent discs lit from the bottom. These discs correspond to different frequency bands (calibrated to help control the presence of a particular instrument) and can be rolled up and down the Layered’s surface to work as an equalizer, allowing you to amplify or attenuate the effect of instruments in your music.

The Sound Project, by Pascal Grangier, offers a new way of interacting with music using color tones. Colour and emotion are directly linked to one another, from subtle, pastel blues which are associated with calmness and a state of relaxation, through to vibrant reds which symbolize excitement and energy. Protruding out of the top of the speaker is a polycarbonate layer, where the mood and information are elegantly displayed. The music is controlled via a separate device that resides on the top of the module; by physically moving the device, the music levels alter.

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