In times when we all are so accustomed to platter-served music on our cloud streaming services like Spotify or Tidal, the good old radio is the nostalgic detour we need to refresh our mind, body, and soul. Combine that with a steampunk flavor of vintage Nixie tubes + brass trims, and you’ve got a beautiful little box ready to take you on a melodic journey.
The Retio brings the antique 90’s essence of eye-catchy Nixie tubes and the golden appeal of radio listening for people who value retro things in their modern form. Handcrafted in San Francisco Bay Area with profound attention to detail, the radio clock is crafted from American black walnut. It’s embellished with 360 brass dials and corner trims to give it that cool steampunk appeal. The IN-12 Nixie tubes used in each one of these units are sourced from genuine vintage stock collected in the 90s. That single bit makes the Retio unique in its own rights. For audiophiles who appreciate sublime quality, Retio is the one to have in your living room or bedroom. That’s because it comes with support for AUX and Bluetooth connectivity with a Hi-Fi speaker module that is pure bliss for the ears.
Add to that the clock functionality and you are all prepared to get rid of your desk clock, vintage AM/FM radio, and portable speaker for this beautiful piece of vintage accessory. The light from the glowing Nixie tubes will suffice your need to warmly illuminate the corner of your room, so it’s another added advantage of sporting this in your home interiors. I already can’t get enough of this timeless radio clock, can you?
Click Here to Buy Now: $349
I don’t know if there’s ever music not playing in my apartment. I even fall asleep to it. Music makes all the difference when it comes to the mood of a home. Whatever we may be listening to, the guitar plucking of folk or the upbeat tempo of disco, music fills the room and sets the tone. Just like when phonographs were the main event of a 19th-century parlor room, speakers are today’s chosen medium of broadcasting our most beloved playlists. Designing a speaker fit for today’s devotion to small-scale and wireless living, La Boite, a team of French technological and acoustic innovators, has created a wireless speaker that doubles as a coffee table called Cube.
The Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker was conceptualized and built with La Boite’s long family history committed to the “traditional high fidelity industry with the design of ergonomic ‘all-in-one’ products optimized for new technologies.” Their patented technology makes it so that from wherever the Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker, which measures 47 x 35 x 49 cm, is positioned in a room, neither the sound quality nor its volume will ever be compromised. Due to its small size, innovative design, and finely-tuned sound quality, The Cube high-fidelity loudspeaker can double as a coffee or side table sized to fit in any space ideally.
Each speaker of the Cube’s collection comes outfitted with a total power output of 200W and features three speakers, one front-facing speaker, two aluminum vent ports for bass reflex, and two rear speakers equipped with La Boite’s patent Wide Sound 2.0 immersive technology. Mindful enough to make the Cube compatible with both wireless and wired capabilities, La Boite also integrated an analog RCA input, a digital optical input Toslink, Bluetooth 4.0 Codec Apt-X built-in, and a mini 3.5mm jack input.
Designer: La Boite
La Boite’s patent Wide Sound 2.0 immersive technology was developed in their Research and Development laboratory to deliver extended stereophonic sound due to the reflection of the sound from the rear speakers on a deflector.
Additionally, each of the speaker’s control panels includes a familiar array of switches: a power button, dials for the volume, bass and treble, pairing buttons for wireless connectivity, and additional auxiliary input sources.
Sleep is personal. Each night, we curate the best conditions for optimal sleep. You might have a preferred meditation app, a favorite essential oil for your trusted aromatherapy diffuser, or the only sleep apnea breathing mask that won’t make you feel like you’re going into combat come morning. Whatever your ideal sleeping conditions call for, we all know how important it is to set the tone for a good night’s rest. Mark Stanisic recently debuted his design, Oblak in order to provide a sleeping bedside device that helps manage nightly routines and promote effective rest.
Oblak is essentially a smart speaker that walks users through their nightly sleep routines. Through the use of smart technology, Oblak introduces each individual user’s optimal bedtime environment ideal for effective rest. Many factors can contribute to sleep deprivation, but in today’s world, the overconsumption of media on our smartphones is perhaps the leading cause. In order to step away from smart technology doing the work for us, Stanisic takes a holistic approach instead, encouraging users through Oblak to make conscious decisions that benefit their sleep patterns. For instance, Oblak uses NFC technology to register when its user is ready for bed.
In order for Oblak to operate, the user simply places their smartphone on the induction charging zone, then through connectivity pairing, an accompanying app will ask if they’re ready for bed. Once ‘Yes’ is selected, NFC technology communicates with the bedroom’s additional smart technology such as lightbulbs and thermostats to transform the bedroom into the ideal environment for good sleep. Stanisic found that optimal sleeping conditions require a room’s average temperature to be set between 18-28℃, that the lighting should emanate warm, red wavelengths, and that ambient sound should provide a low-decibel and stable range of sound to cut through distracting outside noises.
All of these conditions work to provide the ideal environment for effective sleep and once a user tells Oblak that they’re ready for bed, the sleeping bedside device maintains the conditions throughout the night so users can sleep soundly. Lights fade from cool blue to warmer red hues, the thermostat adjusts to find the most suitable temperature, and ambient soundwaves permeate the user’s room, creating a sort of sound bath to get some rest.
Designer: Mark Stanisic
Once Oblak’s user is ready for bed, smart technology adjusts the bedroom’s lighting to provide the ideal environment for a good night’s sleep.
Today’s younger generation spends a lot of time looking at their laptop’s or smartphone’s digital screen, which negatively affects our relationship with sleep.
Oblak’s simple interface and textured surface invite users to power on the sleep aid device and securely place their belongings when ready for bed.
Oblak’s friendly appearance prioritizes the user’s peace of mind by utilizing inviting fabric and layers of translucent surfaces that echo the fogginess that follows a good night’s rest.
Smart Speakers are seldom designed to be trophy elements. With their unassuming design and fabric clad, they’re BUILT to blend into your home decor, being useful only when wanted. This 3D printed stand, on the other hand, turns your smart speaker into a pop-culture collectible worth showing off!
Say hello to the Mandalorian smart speaker holder for the 4th Generation Amazon Echo Dot. Inspired by the Star Wars spin-off series, the smart-speaker holder comes 3D printed by Etsy shop Slic3DArt, quite perfectly resembling the Mandalorian helmet. Place your spherical Amazon Echo Dot within its head cavity and you’ve officially got yourself a trophy-head worth showcasing on your mantelpiece or coffee table!
The purpose of the Mandalorian smart-speaker holder is purely aesthetic. It doesn’t enhance the speaker’s functions but doesn’t impair them either (it does, however, block the light ring at the base). I just wish Alexa came with a Mandalorian voice option!
YD Also Recommends: The Baby Yoda Smart Speaker Holder for your 3rd Gen Amazon Echo Dot!
When we talk of electronics the trend is to shrink down the size of already existing technology while making it better in terms of usability. The same is true for audio equipment and believe it or not a newly developed iteration of speakers by the scientists at Germany’s Chemnitz University’s Print and Media Technology institute will catch your attention beyond comprehension. No more than a roll of paper that can be tailored into circular rings to encapsulate the listener in immersive audio, the research is backed by years of hard work and determination to achieve this form factor.
The ultimate goal is to design low-cost entertainment systems for modern interiors that embrace anything that’s highly functional and minimal in its look. So, a future where your music system will merely be a thin sheet of paper that can be placed anywhere on the walls or ceiling is more than a feasible possibility. The team of researchers headed by Prof. Dr. Arved C. Hübler has been working to improve the sonorous paper loudspeakers by Chemnitz which produce sound by displacing air to create a vibration. Hence, came into existence the roll-to-roll printed speaker paper, a.k.a. T-Paper which is more economical to produce – virtually in a roll form. According to project manager Georg C. Schmidt, the newly developed technology allows them to laminate the electronics for better feasibility in practical use. “In our T-Ring prototype, an almost four-meter-long track with 56 individual loudspeakers was connected to form seven segments and shaped into a circle, making a 360° surround sound installation possible,” says Schmidt.
This means that in the near future we could see the technology being implemented in trade shows, museums, or the advertising industry. The T-Ring that the team has developed for now is nothing but 90 percent conventional paper with electronics sandwiched to generate sound that surrounds the listener for an expanded soundscape for realism. The possibilities with this technology are endless and in the coming years, we could see home entertainment systems embedded into the home décor objects for a seamless design and superior audio experience at a very low-cost thanks to the developments by Print and Media Technology institute.
Designer: Chemnitz University of Technology (Visuals: TU Chemnitz/Jacob Müller)
There have been some pretty innovative design solutions for home gyms in the age of COVID-19, ranging from adaptive gym modules that utilize smart technology for instruction to more discreet gym equipment that disguises as home furniture. While most of us are staying at home for these workouts, ensuring we all have the equipment needed can still get messy and some of us have neighbors living below and next to us, so we have to compromise when it comes to how loud we get. Swift Creatives, a Scandinavian design studio located in Aarhus, Denmark, recently debuted Smart Fitness, an integrated smart workout system that equips your home workout with all the gym-related accessories you might need.
The team at Swift Creatives got inspired by Nike and designed Smart Fitness for athletes at every level of any given sport to have a single system supplied with five smart workout accessories: a foam roller that doubles as a speaker, weighted jump rope, headphones, and water bottle. Foam rollers are a Godsend and essential for use following a heavy workout. Designed to help relieve muscle tension, increase your joint range of motion, and promote blood flow – foam rolling is an athlete’s bread and butter. Since foam rollers are supposed to be firm for purpose and by design, Swift Creatives took the opportunity to enclose a speaker inside the heavy-duty foam so that music can play while rolling.
The included jump rope is balanced and customizable for different workout weights and athlete heights. The jump rope’s cables can be switched out to either lighten the lift or load it on. Additionally, a built-in counter and timer keep track of every rope session so you won’t ever lose count. With integrated music connectivity, Smart Fitness can link up each workout accessory, like the breathable smart headphones, to your smartphone or smartwatch so that you can easily play music from your preferred streaming platform. Bringing its own unique edge to the workout, Smart Fitness’s magnetic water bottle also comes equipped with smart control switches that activate a UV-C LED light cleaning cycle so you can keep your focus on the workout.
Designer: Swift Creatives Studio
In relation to technology, the concept of “untact marketing” refers to smart products and services that require no human contact. Untact marketing schemes and technological services have risen in numbers since the start of the 2020 pandemic because no longer is AI intelligence and smart technology considered an exciting exception, but it has become the norm. As a means of following this paradigm shift, S2VICTOR designed a collection of untact IoT home appliances, called Animal Land, to resemble different animals, bringing in some lighthearted fun into this seemingly endless pandemic.
In order to convey an ecosystem’s natural and simple life cycles, the Animal Land collection consists of a giraffe-shaped router, a whale-shaped diffuser, and a home speaker shaped to resemble a turtle. All three of the home appliances are connected with one another through smart home technology and can be separately managed with an accompanying app. S2VICTOR chose the shape of a giraffe to form their router as the giraffe’s long neck resembles a long antenna. Equipped with motion sensors and voice recognition capabilities, the giraffe-shaped router caters to the needs of everyone in each given home. The whale-shaped diffuser is first and foremost an aromatic refresher but incorporates special smart technology in order to enhance its untact nature. In addition to its main purpose of diffusing different aromas, Animal Land’s whale-shaped diffuser also measures humidity, air quality, and the atmosphere in any given home, transmitting useful information for each resident inside without requiring them to open a weather app. Finally, Animal Land includes a home speaker device shaped like a turtle, which comes equipped with smart technology in order to provide fast response time and voice recognition features. The home speaker’s playful disguise might indicate a slower speed, but an engraving underneath the home speaker’s shell reads, “I’m not slow,” revealing the speaker’s high-speed response time and connectivity.
In order for many modern products and services to be able to compete with today’s market, the inclusion of untact technology is a prerequisite. Overall, it seems that Animal Land’s true inspiration is found in the collection’s playful facade. Animal Land from S2VICTOR recognizes the urgency behind the untact movement and meets it with both a playful design and sense of humor to make light of these grim global circumstances.