Devastatingly Hip: Transparent Speakers are Pretty and Sustainable

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Why do we love transparent products so much? Currently causing a viral storm on Kickstarter: Swedish design firm People People’s transparent speakers.

There has to be a tutorial online that teaches you how to make a nice pair of transparent speakers, right? But alas, in our prefab, preassembled world we’ll inexplicably buy anything that looks like we could do it ourselves. I guess that’s why we go to restaurants and order toast and eggs. And I guess that’s why we love IKEA and the striking simplicity of Scandinavian “you put it together” design.

People People’s Transparent Speaker takes that Scandinavian, DIY aesthetic to the max and people are eating it up. The Transparent Speaker is summation of everything our generation stands for: we love transparent products because they are a symbol and projection of our ever-growing need for transparency; from our governments to what’s inside our phones. And the team at People People, who’s previous Kickstarter hit was the The Memoto Lifelogging Camera (a wearable camera able to create a continuous life log for the user), has their finger on this generation’s ever suspicious pulse.

So what if it’s just a couple of drivers and an amp – that’s exactly what a speaker is, right? Why not strip away all the bells and whistles?

The Transparent Speaker promises excellent sound, regardless of its simplicity. It also hooks up to our phones, devices and offers a unique “toaster” slot that fits Airport Express. Would we ever have the time to make something like this ourselves? And it is, arguably, a very “pretty” product – especially for something capable of mass production and especially for the “hip crowd.”

What’s more, the design is also sustainable: People People gives the option of shipping everything you need except the shell so that you can source the glass locally – saving shipping costs and supporting local glass businesses. The modular design also offers the ability for easy repair and updates – most products become outdated and head straight for the landfill.

In the end, The Transparent Speaker combines a forward thinking, altruistic message to build smart electronics with great design, which might make it worth it. With a minimum pledge of $460 you’ll get a unit that includes the glass and comes fully assembled. The Transparent Speaker will be shipping the first units in Spring 2013. Head over to the Kickstarter for more.

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