Depending upon color (available in white, red-orange, and light aquamarine) the Digit Number Pad represents an aesthetic convergence of Dieter Rams’ iconic 1987-era designed Braun ET66 calculator with a Speak and Spell. The Digit Number Pad is designed to operate as a stand-alone calculator like its Braun predecessor, but unlike any 80s-era calculation device, this one also features Bluetooth connectivity allowing it to work in conjunction with any modern computer, tablet, or smartphone. The retro design isn’t just aesthetic. The Digit Number Pad is designed to deliver an auditory and tactile mechanical experience, with old school membrane switches
<a href="https://design-milk.com/lofree-digit-pad-colorful-design-adds-up/lofree-digit-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/06/Lofree-digit-1-810x447.jpg" alt="The Lofree Digit Number Pad Adds Up to a Touching Experience" /></a> <a href="https://www.lofree.co/" rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Lofree</a> embraces the nostalgic with a catalog of delightfully colorful and rounded technological accessories reflective of space age era optimism. One of their upcoming designs continues this propensity for the playful – a sidekick to their popular <a href="https://design-milk.com/lofree-keyboard-touch-typing/" rel="noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">clickety-clack keyboard</a>, the numerical <a href="https://digit.lofree.co/" rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Digit Number Pad</a> designed as both a partner and stand-alone calculation device.
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The Leo is a “lifestyles” tabletop audio system engineered by a company normally focused upon catering to the stratosphere of higher end (and priced) audiophile components. Though the audiophile market has tended to lean toward discrete, multi-component systems to achieve optimal audio performance, Constellation Audio’s Leo is an attempt to engineer a high level of digital audio processing and amplification technologies within a single form factor. Noting the developing generation of music listeners increasingly prefer compact and mobile device connected systems like Sonos, the Apple HomePod, and other multi-room ready speakers, the Leo is
<a href="https://design-milk.com/constellation-leo-audio-system/constellation-audio-6/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/06/Constellation-Audio-6-810x468.jpg" alt="The Architecture of Sound: Constellation Leo Audio System" /></a> Imagine superimposing the contemporary architectural angularity of a <a href="https://libeskind.com/" rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Daniel Libeskind</a> structure to the form factor of an audiophile-rated speaker and what you might get is something like the <a href="https://www.constellationaudio.com/dominion/leo" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Constellation Audio Leo</a>, a high-end three-way stereo speaker system outfitted with a 6” subwoofer, 560 watts of amplification, and Chromecast, AirPlay and Bluetooth connectivity hidden within its sharply faceted topography.
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Using beech wood from trees grown in the Japanese prefecture of Aomori, the artisan company Bunaco specializes in hand coiling 1mm thin and 1cm-wide ribbon strips of wood into subtle forms so tight the resulting forms are capable of holding water without leaking (note: the technique is old, but not ancient, originally developed in 1956). Bunaco primarily uses the technique to make bowls, lampshades, and other wood housewares. In this unique instance they’ve collaborated with Oki Sato and his Japanese studio Nendo to take advantage of the acoustic properties of beech wood to “warm” up both audio performance and the aesthetic presence of a Bluetooth equipped wireless omnidirectional speaker.
<a href="https://design-milk.com/bunaco-nendo-bluetooth-speaker/nendo-bunaco-speaker-5/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/06/nendo-bunaco-speaker-5-810x540.jpg" alt="The Bunaco by Nendo is the Speaker We Want to Unwind To" /></a> Endless iterations of the <a href="https://design-milk.com/tag/speakers/" data-wpel-link="internal">audio speaker</a> fill the Design Milk archives, but arguably none so simple and subtly elegiac than the <a href="http://www.nendo.jp/en/works/bunaco-speaker/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Bunaco speaker by Nendo</a>, an omnidirectional expression of Japanese minimalism and craftsmanship.
The exterior design is only one half of the PR / 01 story – the rest resides hidden away within. Inside the classic wood and aluminum cabinetry the French acoustics specialist at La Boite reutilized a patent originally developed by the company’s Cagniard family back in the 1976; it required seven years to turn intent to reality. Adapted to support new digital technologies of today, the Active Pression Reflex utilizes two speakers housed within a multi-amplified
<a href="https://design-milk.com/native-union-x-la-boite-pr-01-speaker/nu-x-la-boite_speaker_img2_highres/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/04/NU-X-LA-Boite_Speaker_IMG2_HighRes-810x540.jpg" alt="Native Union x La Boite PR/01 Speaker Conceals Cords and History" /></a> It’s wholly understandable if you mistook the <a href="http://pr01.laboiteconcept.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Native Union x La Boite Concept PR / 01</a> Bluetooth speaker for a vintage stereo speaker that lost its secondary partner. From all appearances, its wood cabinetry and metal trim hint of a time when “hi-fidelity” systems aspired to look as fine as they sound – it’s a speaker designed not to only look the part of audiophile equipment from decades ago, but engineered to sound like one too.
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Imagine the B&O Play Beoplay A9 detaching itself from its stand, equipping itself with gesture controls, embellishing its front panel with an LED illuminated volume control ring display, and settling itself onto a wall, and you’ve got something rather similar to the OSOUND XL. Designed and made in Italy, the OSOUND XL is a supersized update of the more modestly proportioned OSOUND.
<a href="https://design-milk.com/habits-osound-xl-speaker/osoundxl-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2018/03/OSoundXL-1-810x459.jpg" alt="Habits OSOUND XL Goes Big and Vertical" /></a> Currently the most conspicuous players in the digital audio speaker market – Apple HomePod, Google Home Max, and Sonos Play:5 – all function with the goals of operating as tastefully inconspicuous devices within the home. Milan-based Habits Studio thinks otherwise, envisioning an audio speaker equally large in size, sound, and aesthetic impression. The <a href="http://www.habits.it/works/osound-xl/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Habits OSOUND XL</a> is an unapologetically noticeable presence designed to be seen and heard.
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Technologist and pastry chef Dinara Kasko reinterpreted the 3D sculptures of artist José Margulis into a quartet of edible “geometrical kinetic tarts”.
Despite the fact that the world of technology changes faster than we can type a sentence, we aim to bring you the latest and greatest out there. From apps to keyboards to food made via 3D printing, we covered a little bit of everything <a href="https://design-milk.com/category/technology/" rel="nofollow" data-wpel-link="internal">technology</a> related in 2017. Curious to see what was the most popular post? Take a look. <a href="https://design-milk.com/best-technology-posts-of-2017/kasko-tart-sliced-cake-45555/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="https://design-milk.com/images/2017/12/Kasko-tart-sliced-cake-45555-810x651.jpg" alt="Best Technology Posts of 2017" /></a> 10. <a href="https://design-milk.com/when-sculptor-engineer-pastry-chef-make-dessert/" rel="nofollow noopener" data-wpel-link="internal">When a Sculptor, Engineer, and Pastry Chef Decide to Make Dessert</a><br />
- Skagen’s Signatur Hybrid Smartwatch Dials In Connectivity
A hybrid smartwatch designed for those who desire discreet connectivity without the addition of another distracting screen.
- The Architects Behind Google Headquarters and Hyperloop One Designed This Smart Lock
The world’s smallest retrofit door lock was designed by the architects responsible for Google’s new headquarters and the
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As the name implies, the BLOSSOM references the shape and function of the floral; an audio-dispersing cone sits within a cylinder, opening upward for playback and emanating music every direction with controls available across the top of its flexible spandex material cover. When pushed down, the cone element slides securely into the cylinder for compact and safe travel. Those with a background and memory in consumer audio design well before the era of digital audio may recognize a similarity to the mid-century Zenith Circle of Sound Speakers – omnidirectional stereo speakers with a similar shape and operating under a similar premise of
<a href="http://design-milk.com/bebops-360-bluetooth-speaker/bebop-blossom-speaker-8/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://2.design-milk.com/images/2017/05/BeBop-Blossom-speaker-8-810x470.jpg" alt="Bebop 360° Bluetooth Speaker Blossoms in Sound" /></a> There are few categories as tired and rote currently as the realm of wireless speakers. Fortunately <a href="https://lexonusa.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Lexon</a> turned to Korean design studio <a href="http://bebopdesigners.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Bebop</a> to conceive something notably different, a portable audio design representing tactile simplicity in service of function. The <a href="http://bebopdesigners.com/blossom/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">BLOSSOM</a> is portable Bluetooth speaker with a unique 360 degrees design that opens when needed, closes back up for easy travel.
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Backpack/purse sized portability: check. Splash and dust resistant case: check. Crisp audio output: check. Bluetooth connectivity: check. 10 hour playback: check. Distinct modern Danish industrial design: check. Button and switch controls: ….ahem. The absence of controls is completely intentional, and B&O Play’s reductive design is the Beoplay P2’s most distinct feature: there’s no physical controls blemishing the profile of this perforated palm-sized pebble (say that 3x fast) besides a subtle power button on the back, lanyard loop, and perpetually agape USB-C port. Everything else one might expect adorning a portable speaker has
<a href="http://design-milk.com/bo-play-beoplay-p2/beoplay-p2-speaker-111/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://3.design-milk.com/images/2017/04/Beoplay-P2-speaker-111-810x532.jpg" alt="The B&O Play Beoplay P2 is Designed for Poolside Playback" /></a> One look at Bang & Olufsen’s recently unveiled <a href="http://design-milk.com/beosound-shape-modular-audio/" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-wpel-link="internal">BeoSound Shape</a> modular wall audio system, and it was hard not to imagine the beehive configuration as a chorus of portable speakers. Alas, the hexagonal array weren’t removable to move and use as individual portable speakers as one might hope (we tried!). Instead, you’ll have to look to their more youthful imprint, <a href="https://www.beoplay.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">B&O Play</a>, for their latest portable option: the <a href="https://www.beoplay.com/products/beoplayp2#techspec" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Beoplay P2</a>.
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Three years in the making, PENNA offers the feeling of a mechanical keyboard with keycaps that let you know if you actually typed that letter or not, helping to reduce mistakes. The keyboard will be available with either Diamond Shape Keycaps (rounded corners give a smooth feeling and aim for more accurate typing) or Retro Chrome Keycaps (more like an old typewriter), depending on your preference. The keyboard layout is a standard QWERTY setup but with added features to adjust
<a href="http://design-milk.com/penna-a-vintage-typewriter-inspired-bluetooth-keyboard/elretron-vintage-retro-keyboard-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://1.design-milk.com/images/2017/03/Elretron-vintage-retro-keyboard-1-810x456.jpg" alt="PENNA: A Vintage Typewriter-Inspired Bluetooth Keyboard" /></a> Typing anything more than a word or phrase on your tech device can be painful, which is why wireless Bluetooth keyboards <a href="http://design-milk.com/lofree-keyboard-touch-typing/" data-wpel-link="internal">continue to grow in popularity</a>. <a href="https://www.elretron.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Elretron</a> is set to launch their very own version, known as <a href="https://www.elretron.com/penna" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">PENNA</a>, with a vintage typewriter spin, and despite its retro look, it’s anything but antiquated. Besides functionality, PENNA aims to provide a stylish design you won’t mind leaving out on your desk or table.
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The 15W horn-style ceramic table speaker is embedded for Bluetooth 4.0, making it compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, OS X, Windows, and Linux systems. And again the matte finishes available in three colors tempts touch before, during, or after any listening session (put us down for
<a href="http://design-milk.com/luciano-ceramic-bluetooth-speaker/paolo-cappello-luciano-003/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://0.design-milk.com/images/2017/03/Paolo-Cappello-Luciano-003-810x540.jpg" alt="The Luciano Ceramic Bluetooth Speaker Sings Simplicity" /></a> <a href="http://www.paolocappello.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Paolo Cappello Design’s</a> modernized the gramophone for the streaming audio generation with the <a href="http://design-milk.com/cabinet-embedded-bluetooth-high-definition-speaker/" data-wpel-link="internal">Caruso</a>, a cabinet of curiosity most memorable for its purity of form and pleasing <a href="http://design-milk.com/cabinet-embedded-bluetooth-high-definition-speaker/" data-wpel-link="internal">matte color combinations</a>. Continuing the evocation of great opera singers, <a href="http://www.paolocappello.com/portfolio_page/luciano/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Luciano</a> is the Milanese designer’s smaller wireless and portable rendition, one that “sings” similarly, sans cabinetry.
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When not in use, the earphones plug into the unit to charge and are always ready to use. An O2 mobile app lets you adjust the volume and monitor the battery life.
<a href="http://design-milk.com/o2-bluetooth-earphone-by-shane-li/shane-li-o2-bluetooth-earphone-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://1.design-milk.com/images/2017/02/Shane-Li-O2-Bluetooth-Earphone-1-810x542.jpg" alt="O2 Bluetooth Earphone by Shane Li" /></a> Tangled cords are a daily earphone annoyance which makes Bluetooth models an appealing option. <a href="http://www.shanelidesign.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Shane Li</a> has created a concept that not only keeps your cords neat, it has a built-in power bank that charges the earphones while you’re carrying them around. The <a href="http://www.shanelidesign.com/o2earphone" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">O2 Bluetooth Earphone</a> is a compact unit that easily fits in your pocket until you’re ready to use it.
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The 24-second teaser video shows an almost unconvincing, CGI-like effect while in use, but the designers at 42foundry claim they’ve effectively figured out how to turn a non-display surface into the semblance of a digital clock, likely utilizing micro-pumps to suck or push out air to create a vacuum in the form of numerals or letters. No detail whether the display is limited to the center of the 40 x 40 cm coated aluminium frame, or whether the Etch is capable of display across its “dark Peacock” display face beyond four numerals. Like nearly every product today, the Etch Clock has an accompanying app, one designed
<a href="http://design-milk.com/etch-clock-time-keeping-sculpture/etch-clock-1/" data-wpel-link="internal"><img src="http://2.design-milk.com/images/2016/12/Etch-Clock-1-810x608.jpg" alt="The Etch is a Morphing Digital Clock Sculpture" /></a> The <a href="http://www.etchclock.com/" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Etch Clock</a> is unlike any Swiss clock we’ve ever seen, a tabletop or wall-mountable digital clock designed to mimic an “etched in stone” effect using an elastic membrane with an undisclosed patent pending technology engineered to produce an engraved or embossed fonts/digits effect on demand.
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It’s difficult imagining hiding away the Devialet Gold Phantom tucked in a corner. And in fact, the Phantom’s designers intended the system to be prominently and proudly displayed out in the open – a status object desiring the attention of both ears and eyes alike – a plus when considering audio speakers of any kind benefit from positioning away from obstructions and the immediate proximity of walls. The Devialet Gold Phantom is actually the third iteration of the Phantom design. A previous
<a href="http://design-milk.com/devialet-gold-phantom-delivers-golden-4500-watts-sound/gold-phantom-background-rose-gold/"><img src="http://1.design-milk.com/images/2016/06/Gold-Phantom-Background-Rose-Gold-600x514.jpg" alt="The Devialet Gold Phantom Delivers a Golden 4,500 Watts of Sound" /></a> French manufacturer <a href="http://en.devialet.com/#hot-news" >Devialet</a> has created an intriguing design object of sound, a radical departure from the recognizable norm of the wireless audio speaker landscape. The <a href="http://en.devialet.com/phantom/" >Gold Phantom</a> prominence can be almost solely attributed to its angled white capsule design adorned with a luxe panel of 22-karat rose gold on each side, an embellishment that makes clear this all-in-one system is unlike any other audio system on the market today.
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Beyond its eye-catching aesthetics, the copper coil displayed behind a clear polycarbonate window operates to “warm up” bass frequencies, while the hefty concrete base reduces vibrations and tip-overs. In combination, the 10.22″ tall speaker takes on an architectural presence or the appearance of an industrial sculpture. Specifications include a 20W full-range Peerless transducer, Bluetooth connectivity with APTx Support, the ability to pair two Pavilion Speakers into stereo mode, and wired connectivity via 3.5mm AUX Port. A varnished oak wood
<a href="http://design-milk.com/hult-design-pavilion-speaker-architectural-audio/pavilion-speakers-01/"><img src="http://3.design-milk.com/images/2016/01/Pavilion-speakers-01-600x491.jpg" alt="Hult Design Pavilion Speaker Is Architectural Audio" /></a> Los Angeles based Hult Design’s <a href="http://hultdesign.com/" >Pavilion</a> is an object of beauty which also happens to be a Bluetooth speaker. Constructed with a combination of concrete, coiled copper, and an oak top, the cylindrical speaker’s design is a showpiece display of technology, meant to be seen as much as heard.
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Installed into the middle of the maple wood skate deck is a speaker fitted with a 50mm driver and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Fully charged the Globe skateboards are good for about 2 hours at full blast and for over 6 hours if played back at 70% volume. The deck takes about 3 hours to fully charge via USB charger, with the speaker/charger section ruggedized for bumps and splashes while riding. The Globe wireless speaker skateboards are available in two sizes, the 26″ length Blazer and the longer 41.25″ Pinner model, both complete with trucks and wheels.
<a href="http://design-milk.com/globe-skateboards-designed-built-wireless-speaker/globe-speakerboard-skateboard-01/"><img src="http://1.design-milk.com/images/2016/01/Globe-speakerboard-skateboard-01-600x663.jpg" alt="Globe Skateboards Designed With Built-in Wireless Speaker" /></a> A nod back to the days when skateboarders lugged boomboxes around town to add a soundtrack to skate sessions, skate brand <a href="http://www.globebrand.com/" >Globe</a> has partnered with Aussie Bluetooth audio company <a href="https://boombotix.com/" >Boombotix</a> to develop what they’re calling the world’s first Bluetooth speaker board.
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With its trumpet-shaped speaker, the Caruso music cabinet might make you think of old gramophones, but it’s outfitted with a Bluetooth, high-definition speaker for the digital age. Paolo Cappello Design created the modern speaker, for Italian company Miniforms, with an iconic, recognizable feel with high performance sound. The cabinet measures 39 inches wide and comes in lacquer – silk gray, dusty gray, black, white, pink coral, or pastel blue – along with natural oak and walnut. The ceramic speaker is available in red, pink, yellow, green, anthracite, or white. There’s also a limited edition 24k gold plated speaker within old 18th century oak wood. Caruso can be purchased here.
Just when I thought I had seen – and heard – every wireless Bluetooth speaker out there, something truly unusual appears on the radar: limited edition Bluetooth desktop speakers sculpted into the likeness of three divisive political figures. Artist and activist Petro Wodkins’ series of marble-like composite handcast busts of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and Margaret Thatcher (his latest creation) – The Sound of Power Extreme Bust Speakers – are a subversive tribute to cult of personalities turned into hybrid art-meets-sculpture form. Each bust sports a full-range 4″ driver speaker, visible from an angled cross-cut opening, with each figure designed to stand on top of a small podium with a plaque that doubles up as the unit’s 20-watt amplifier. With those specs and mono output it should be clear the audio performance is secondary to the humorous presence of a Bluetooth speaker that exists as a political parody of loudmouths
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The neyya smart ring was first seen at TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield at last year’s CES, a concept which married the inconspicuous presence of jewelry with the touch/tap/swipe app-manipulative utility of wearable technology. In essence, the neyya was designed to liberate controls from our device screens so users could silence calls, fast forward songs, control a Powerpoint presentation, or snap a photo remotely without ever having to pull out their phone. The neyya’s smart touchpad and gesture features work with iOS/OS X devices, Windows powered computers, GoPro, and ROKU, all with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a battery life rated for 3 days of average use (9 days of standby). A docking station takes care of charging duties in about 90 minutes, while a companion Android or iOS app extends the ring’s utility beyond remote controls, offering daily reminder notification for activities (yoga, exercise, water breaks), a dosage reminder for supplements
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When I was younger I used to tote around a small Sony dual audio tape boombox everywhere I went to skate. It was an audio sidekick, providing the soundtrack for my friends and I as we’d skate around town, hang out at the park, or just chill curbside. The Vifa Helsinki loudspeaker reminds me of that era – albeit with a much more sophisticated and refined design – reminding me how powerful music can be when shared. And indeed, the Vifa Helsinki is designed specifically to bring and share music, a portable dual speaker unit “built to accompany the feel-good moments”. With its combination of Kvadrat textile grill, leather strap, and petite profile, the Helsinki’s resemblance to a purse is undeniable. But to the credit of the Danish design team, the speaker’s design veers within the realm of gender-neutral appeal.
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Audio maker HIDDEN has been busy lately. Following up their recent compact HiddenRadio2 refresh (an update to their wireless slide-out cylinder speaker design), the SoHo New York team is aiming bigger (and louder) with an immersive and adaptive home audio system with a few tricks up its sleeve to stand out from the crowd of similar wireless audio solutions. The HiddenHUB’s minimalist 8.5” x 2.5” cylindrical design isn’t just a hereditary nod to its smaller sibling, the HiddenRadio2, but also engineered to accommodate a technological feature which aims to improve overall sound, in essence producing bespoke audio. Within the HiddenHUB sits an array of sensors situated all around and a proprietary logic board processing the data, the HiddenHUB can analyze a room’s layout and dimensions, then dynamically regulate the frequencies for optimal sound. A built-in accelerometer also recognizes whether the unit is placed flat or hung vertically, adjusting
Continue reading "HiddenHUB Optimizes 360-degree Sound to the Shape of Your Room"