The iPad is the ultimate consumer media machine. Even with Apple issuing ‘Pro’ versions of the world’s favorite tablet, it still is primarily used for watching content on its big screen (between sending mails). However, it wasn’t built with that sole intent. It has single-direction speakers (no stereo) which aren’t particularly rich in audio output, lending to a rather bland multimedia experience. The immediate solution? Fire up an external speaker via bluetooth or aux. The better solution? Simulate the cinema experience with a home-theater dock for the iPad.
The OIO Amp puts two incredibly sleek speakers on either side of your iPad in a format that seems like a TV and Home Theater set-up, but made portable. Unlike every external wireless speaker that is designed as an independent unit, the OIO Amp was built to integrate with the tablet, becoming a singular unit that can be opened out anywhere, and then folded and stored away for another Netflix binge-watching session.
Virtually as slim as the iPad it docks (it was built for the iPad Air and Pro 9.7″), the OIO Amp opens out into a docking space for the iPad that instantly pairs the device and speakers the moment it docks. The two flaps that open outwards are in fact electromagnetic speakers and vibrating acoustic panels (allowing them to be slim yet produce sound that is a literal “bang for its buck”). The speaker flaps go the extra mile by being covered with a microfiber cloth that doesn’t scratch the iPad screen, but rather cleans it, because the last thing you want is to try to watch a movie through fingerprint smudges.
The OIO Amp is built with a 900mAh battery, designed to give it 7 hours of playtime (that’s enough for half a season of Game of Thrones). While the Amp was created to uplift the iPad’s multimedia experience (bringing great sound and a great display together), it works with all Bluetooth enabled devices too, becoming a fold-to-open external speaker. And if you’re more of an iPad for work kinda guy, the Amp allows you to have the most audible conference calls on a 9.7 inch tablet. Me? I’ve just found the perfect mini-cinema that I can carry around with me, so color me satisfied!
Designer: Gregg Davis
Gone are the days of the pink glow-stache! The Amp ushers in a new age for the ever-expanding ride-sharing organization. It sits elegantly on the dashboard of the car with the identity facing outwards. Designed as a beacon for not just helping create an identity for Lyft cabs, it also helps cabs and riders connect to each other.
The last 50 feet of the pickup are the most difficult as the GPS on one’s phone doesn’t offer pin-point accuracy. It’s also difficult for drivers to identify riders, and for riders to spot their car among the line of automobiles on the road. The Amp acts as a beacon, lighting up with its 160 RGB LEDs in a certain color configuration. The rider just has to look for the car with the color configuration that matches the one showing on their app. This system works wonderfully since it allows viewers to discern color rather than number plates, providing an interaction that usually takes milliseconds.
The Amp also has an LED matrix of 120 LEDs that light up to greet the rider, or show the names of the riders. An added use for the matrix also helps in promotion or custom greetings based on events and festivals. Touted as a modern day reinterpretation of the Taxi light (possibly the most iconic element of traditional taxis after their yellow color), the Amp comes from design Studio Ammunition, best known for their formative work for Beats by Dre. The Lyft Amp is a winner of the Core77 Design Award for the year 2017.
Designer: Ammunition Group (for Lyft)