Wireless iPod Speaker - Social Interaction.

im 2 weeks into my final year of D&T at university, a large proportion of which we spend working on our major design project.
i’ve decided to do “Wireless ipod speakers”. Everyones got an ipod with all their music on, lot of us have also got speaker docks which work really well, but how much better would they be if you could pop the speakers off the base unit and place them round the room / house / garden. Its very early stages but at the moment my thinking is that the base station would have mains power and room to house or nest maybe 5 of 10 small speakers. each speaker will need to have its own battery, RF receiver and automatically charge when placed on the base station. I think this would be great for parties or relaxing as you can scatter them round the room.

Another side of the project that i find really interesting is the interaction with the speakers. I want to make the music more social, interactive and playful. this might mean making the speakers the size and shape of a tennis ball so they can be held in the hand, could they have a soft covering so they could be rolled / thrown around, maybe volume up = shake the speaker and volume down = tilt it upside down, maybe to turn them on you have to touch 2 together, or they give out a glow of light that reflects the music.

It terms of getting a working model for my degree show i was thinking of bashing together some current products / parts (such as How-To: Build Wireless Speakers from RF Headphones | Engadget) and vacuum casting the housing.

I’m really happy with my choice of topic as i think i have a lot to work with but it would be great to get some feedback and see what others think, how it could be improved and how the hell im gonna pull off the electronics.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Thought you’d want to see this…
http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-Pod-Not-for-the-iPod-Lu-Lee-039-s-Pea-Speakers-93429.shtml

Delve into the project deeper, it seems you’ve come to a solution without any actual research.

Look at this project for example, basically it’s a concept that looks at how digital data can be stored more physically. He could have just done a touch-screen device that sits somewhere in your house, but its so much more on a number of levels…

http://watsongeorge.co.uk/object.html

It’s a cool idea what you’ve come up with, but been done quite a bit, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to go about it though.

Good luck.

Thanks The_Boogey_Man,
I totally agree with everything you’ve said.

A friend showed me the Pea speakers a couple of days ago and its obviously annoying to see something similar has been done already but its only a visual concept, i need a working model at the end, that could turn out quite different.

I agree with your comment about solution without research, the last page in my logbook is titled “take a step back” as i could see that happening too.

I think thats partly because my current thoughts are centered around the technology where as it should be the user. If anything it feels a bit like im just designing a slightly better speaker than designing a new solution to “socially interacting with music in the home.”
One issue is that the university is very keen on having a working prototype at the end of the year and not just a foam model, which can make it hard to come up with solutions that are a bit more “out there” and make designers go wow.

not 'everybody" has a i pod nor are into social networking, rember most of the $ is held by people over 50.

Held - sure. Who are the most of the $ SPENT by? Also, many $ spent by people over 50 are spent on their kids, grandkids and their neighbor’s cousin’s kids - under 50.

ummm no, if your over 50 and have kids they are old enough to pay their own way, if you have grand kids your spending on stuff thats far more important than a ipod.

What about David Letterman?

who? oh that 2nd rate comedian on late night, yea i guess your market is ummmm .002% of the us population.

Are you tipping the scotch too much today Zip? Seriously. You can be more constructive with your age and wisdom than continually barking that its been done, or that you need functional models, and that youth don’t have the mojo of your generation. We hear it every time you log on.

I think you have way more to contribute than this same stuff over and over.

What makes me say this is that you’re way off base here. The Tweens to early teens have some of the most largest amount of disposable income of any age group. You might think that what you’re spending your money on is more important, but that’s not the case to a 14 year old.

Even more to the point is you’re bang on that the money is HELD by everyone over 50, living the deferred life plan. Holding on to that money all white-knuckled while they slave away 9 to 5 waiting for the clock to strike 65. And then maybe, HOPEFULLY, they’ll get to spend it (IF they didn’t lose it all in stocks in the past few weeks).

Actually, most of the money is held by the top .25% of the income bracket. Does it mean we should only market to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet?

1 its fall, so i am cranky
2 doing a “oh ok, your nice guys” prototype and the product is a piece of crap.
3 its fall
4 i hate teenagers (dating issue, gf has 2…would it be murder or retro active abortion?)
5 youth focus is just BORING, so is social networking…blech.
6 the folk I hang with that are over 50 are not living defferred, most are now on 2nd or 3rd enterprise and woke up to a rational life/work balance
7 its fall.

What’s wrong with fall? I love fall. Football. Fly fishing. Leaves.

Never said that is what you should do. But you sure as heck could do more good for people on the boards than to come in every time you log on, kick them in the nuts, tell them they suck because they don’t have the '70s mojo, then log off.

What’s wrong with fall?

Simply weak. Zip finds it boring, so it must be bad. Mark Zuckerberg sure doesn’t find it boring. He saw some acreage on the intrawebs and put an idea to it. Then, wow, MILLIONS of people bought it. We all know someone is more likely to buy something that has a good strong visual along with it. Even if the idea is…yawn…boring.

Hmmm…sounds oddly like the industry we work in. Taking a run down piece of acreage, putting an idea to it and then selling it for 3X the original value.

This is where its easy to turn it around on you. You and your circle of friends may not be living deferred but a few dozen million others are. Looking at it from the lowly perspective of youth, it is the over 50 set that are boring…but I sure as heck don’t have a problem trying to figure out how to make a product sell to you old farts with all that extra cash you claim to have. But methinks getting your Gen to part with it is where the real trick comes in.

nice to see this has stayed on topic…

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