Your iPad Will Be All Ears With This Zero-Energy Speaker

Laptops and tablets are awesome because they pack all the computing power of your desktop (and then some) into a portable package that can accompany you anywhere. If you can manage without a traditional mouse or keyboard, these mobile devices allow you to take your work (or entertainment) anywhere you go.

Unfortunately, what these portable computers possess in the way of processor speed and Wifi connectivity, they lack in other areas. Like speakers. Although the iPad represents the pinnacle of technological advancement in many ways, it still features a tiny speaker that’s located on the back of the shell so it faces away from the user. External speakers can be expensive and require cords or batteries. But not the Amplifiear.

Amplifiear

Image via Nonlinear Studio/Kickstarter

Conjured up by Evan Clabots of New York’s Nonlinear Studio, the Amplifiear features a brilliantly simple design inspired by–what else?–the human ear. Just like your ear features a scoop-like shape to better catch sounds and direct them to your inner ear, the Amplifier collects the sound in a cup and directs it toward your head.

“…We can use headphones, but they are isolating and only work for personal use,” writes the gadget’s creator on Kickstarter. “We can plug our iPad into our sound system with the headphone jack, but this defies the best part of the iPad, its mobility. Bluetooth speakers drain our battery faster, and even if our sound system is portable, we still have a second device that we need to recharge.

“Why would we deal with any of these hassles if there were a product that could clip right onto our iPad and simply amplify and clarify the sound that is already coming out of our iPad, using the simple geometry of an old gramophone?”

Amplifiear

Image via Nonlinear Studio/Kickstarter

If you’re tired of cranking the volume to 11 every time you want to share a tune with your couch-mate, you’ll be glad to know that the Amplifiear has already far-exceeded its crowdfunding goal of $10,000. It will be manufactured in a Minnesota factory and packacged in a single piece of recycled card stock that is both recyclable and biodegradable. The only thing we don’t know is when and how much, but Clabots assures backers that the Amplifiear’s online store will be up and running soon.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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