About this project
Cool Material: "it just looks freakin’ sweet"
psfk: "effortlessly blends into any environment instead of sticking out against the decor"
VentureBeat: “Sounds fantastic, a reality that became clear when used to blast a particularly bass-heavy version of R. Kelly’s “Ignition.”
Cool Hunting: “After listening... we were equally impressed with the performance of the 6.5" sub and two 3" full range drivers. The tempered, sealed glass box is engineered to be air proof and well suited to prevent vibration or sound diffusion.”
Latest Updates from PEOPLE PEOPLE
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #008 - Custom Faceplate Edition!
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #007 - The Transparent Community
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #006 - We're in Las Vegas for CES!
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #005 - We've passed 100% Funding!
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #004 - Did you hear that?
• WALKTHROUGH #001 - Kickstarter Funding
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #003 - Audio!
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #002 - Cut Out & Fold Transparent Speaker
• TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #001 - We're flying!
Why People People?
Home audio systems have come a long way from the blocky, black and silver painted stacks of particle wood and plastic. No longer are we building giant stereo systems that take up half of your valuable living space. Our iTunes, Pandora and Spotify accounts drive our music towards whatever device we choose. At People People, we believe audio is best heard, not seen, and the best electronics should last a lifetime! We set out to design a beautiful audio component that emphasizes the drivers, solidifying the speaker’s rightful place as the ultimate icon of what’s really important: Your Music! A year ago, we introduced the People People Transparant Speaker to the world - The response was tremendous!
Some quotes from the web:
“THIS IS THE BEST AMONG THE BEST’S OF THE BEST’S!!!”
“SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
“IT’S A WORK OF ART.”
“I NEED THIS IMMEDIATELY!”
“LOVE THE SUSTAINABLE BIT.”
Pledge Levels & Currencies
To make things more simple for you, we've converted a few of the major currencies (and our small Swedish one) for our two main pledge levels. The fully assembled kit, and our DIY-kit. Make a pledge!
The music industry loves the speaker. Our speaker concept was recently featured in will.i.am’s and Britney Spear’s new music video for “Scream and Shout!” at 3:50
A speaker for everyone, for any space, and any taste
Because of the beautiful transparent design, The Transparent Speaker blends in effortlessly and sits in nicely into any environment with any decor. Forget the age-old conflict over cables and “large wooden boxes” in your living and work space, this Speaker’s simple design makes nice no matter where you put it.
High quality audio for today's music lover
The Transparent Speaker is built with premium audio components. A 6.5-inch subwoofer provides a solid low end, while two 3-inch full range drivers provide crisp highs as well as everything in between.
Its built-in power amplifier also has embedded digital signal processing (DSP) that ensures a full and balanced sound on par with other speaker systems in its category. A simple, machined aluminum control panel allows easy adjustment to bass, treble and volume via simple knobs with a classic rocker switch and LED for power-on and display.
Simple and smart connections to your music
A standard 1/8 inch auxiliary jack on both the front and the back allow for easy input to the speaker. Want a cleaner installation? A powered USB socket allows a Bluetooth or WiFi dongle so you can make your Transparent Speaker a wireless audio component compatible with nearly any audio setup. Then, there’s the unique way we decided to implement Apple’s AirPlay…
Like we mentioned, audio systems have come a long way - We play music from iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, using iTunes, Rdio, Spotify, Pandora, Youtube... you name it. Apple products include support for AirPlay, a wireless way to send audio between devices. Apple’s Airport Express outperforms all other AirPlay speakers we have tried in terms of setup, experience and signal quality.
The ultimate solution became, ahem, “clear” to us - Make it easy-to-use an Airport Express! We include a unique “toaster” slot that fits the Airport Express perfectly. The built-in amplifier powers the Airport Express while a dedicated audio input completes a seamless integration with your favorite Apple devices using AirPlay. It’s the perfect solution for the way you listen to music everyday!
Minimalist ≠ minimum design
Want to save some money while reducing your impact on the environment? We’ll allow you the option to build your own Transparent Speaker and send everything you need and help to acquire your own glass panels locally. No matter if we send you a pre-built speaker or the environmentally-friendly kit to build on your own, the result is a robust audio product that will live and grow with you. The People People Transparent Speaker is the perfect solution for the smart music lover that wants it all - Great audio and aesthetic that is meant to last a lifetime.
Go your own way
The Transparent Speaker will be available in different configurations: Fully Assembled and supply your own local glass. Shipping is free in the United States and costs a little extra for the EU and the rest of the world.
The build-your-own kit reduces the overall size and impact of shipping. The supply-your-own glass kit (we will supply you with the blueprints) reduces the weight and size of shipments by half and lets users customize their panels however they’d like. By reducing the need for assembly in the factory, shipping is much more efficient and local glass businesses are utilized.
This site is a good place to start your search for local manufacturers: Tempered Safety Glass Directory
Sustainability in home electronics
It's important to us as designers to implement smart design. It entails a number of things. It must be easy to use. It should be attractive. It should be made of the highest quality materials. It should be easily repaired. It should sound good. Our Transparent Speaker does all of these things.
But smart design goes beyond the product itself. It also takes into account everything that goes into producing, shipping and using the product. In our supplier visits, we also spent a lot of time auditing labor rights and environmental performance. We've made sure our manufacturers work with the best available standards for labor rights and environmental management (such as Global Compact and ISO 14001). Alongside standards regarding labor rights, we'll work with manufacturers to set up a more diverse and less monotonous working environment. We believe this is critical for employees of assembly lines, and trust that it produces a better product overall.
We want to make a speaker that lives and grows with you. Most home electronics are disposed when it becomes outdated or broken. This product was designed to be upgraded and even improved over time. Modular design means drivers are easily replaced, amplifiers easily upgraded, and glass easily changed or even customized. In fact, we have designed the speaker in such a way so that it is ready for a long term recycling scenario. This means parts are kept out of the landfill, and onto refurbished or up-cycled products. We think all products should be designed with these scenarios in mind. Add in our option to ship the speaker as a kit, the option to supply your own glass, and our energy-efficient amplifier boards, and we've created a new genre of sustainable home electronics we can be proud of.
- 2 x 3'' full range drivers
- 1 x 6.5'' woofer
- Output: 80-100 W (Energy-efficient amplifier boards)
- Sealed cabinet volume: 10,2 l
- Frequency response (TBD): 35 Hz - 20 kHz ±5db on axis
- High quality Digital Signal Processing
- Bass, Treble and Volume adjustment on front panel
- 2 x AUX in (front and back)
- Power Out cable in back
- USB Power Out socket in back
- “Toaster slot” for Apple Airport Express (Airport Express not included)
- Dimensions: 420 x 330mm, 106mm
The functional prototype
This product has been in development for over a year and really picked up at CES 2012. Our team has mechanical engineers, audio engineers, electrical engineers, material specialists and several different manufacturers involved in the process. Being industrial designers, we have set very high standards.
Many of the manufacturing processes used for the prototype in the video will be used for the final product. The high precision watercutting of the glass. The laser etching of the graphics. The extrusion of the aluminum profiles. The electronics and DSP continues to be developed. We have used evaluation kits and break-out boards to put together an amp-board design that fits all the components into a very small space.
What does the functional prototype do?
The prototype in the video does everything the final speaker will do, and it sounds great!
What is the next step?
We are currently working on the digital sound processing (DSP), power management (PSU) and driver fine tuning. After the sound performance is locked down, we’ll finalize the detailed design specifications for production and get a golden sample that we can use to guide the mass production and certify the product. It is a tone of work and quite costly, so we hope our Kickstarter campaign will help support our endeavor. We will keep you updated on every step along the way!
In October of 2012, we went to Denmark, India and China to meet some of the best audio manufacturers in the industry. We had given three different factories a challenge in advance; to make a prototype that would meet our high demands on audio, construction and finish.
Since then, we have worked closely with these factories to solve all challenges before manufacturing. We have made a better corner construction, an updated amplifier box, a nice packaging design and a lot of detailed specifications regarding design finish. We are perfectionists when it comes to getting the right things out of the factory, and have set up a meticulous Quality Control arrangement.
The production plan
We have a schedule laid out for us. It looks like this:
- December 2012 – Finalizing electronic design, DSP tuning and construction of the Speaker.
- January 2013 – Demo Product. Start tooling for plastic injection molding. Build and test multiple iterations of electronics in the amplifier.
- February 2013 – Product tests, certification and finding fulfillment partner.
- March 2013 – Begin production of final version
- April 2013 – Start shipping the first transparent speaker to our earliest backers.
We are People People
People People is a design agency started two-and-a-half years ago by four friends in Stockholm, Sweden. After several years in the telecommunications industry, we realized how big companies can get too stuck in their corporate traditions, and fail to deliver innovation that people enjoy. So we quit our day jobs at Nokia and started People People. We want to make things that are not only beautiful and functional, but also revolutionary and sustainable. So far, we have been working with big and small companies that want to be inspired by people to create things that are desired by people. We spend 20% of out time on our own “lab projects”, and this is how the Transparent Speaker was born.
Recently, we have been really proud of a Kickstarter project we designed - the Memoto Lifelogging Camera. It recently funded for $550,189!
We would like to say a big “Thank You” to our supporters so far:
- TS Produktion for great video support
- PDS & Prototal for prototype magic
- Deportees for giving us their awesome music to our video
- House of Radon for lenses and mic
- Stage Two for US press relations
- Wolay/Alexander helping us with events
- Oskar Willers for studio photos
- Seb - Dear Old Stockholm for web-design
- Uniforms for the Dedicated for creative input and speaker bag
- Memoto for kickstarter mentoring
- Anahita for degreework on construction
- Karin for apartment photo
- Svensk Form / Vinnova for travel support
- Drivhuset / Almi Stockholm for legal support
- The Internet community for energy and creative input
What you get when backing us
Kickstarter isn’t a store — it’s a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things. The reward for us is that we would be able to see the product we've been working hard on, for almost a year now, finally go into production, and hopefully be playing your favorite music soon!
We have rewards for you on every level of contribution, no matter what size. Our first rewards start as low as $1 and include you in our ever-growing transparent community, letting you be the first to know whenever something new comes out. For only four dollars more, you’ll receive a clear People People Speaker sticker, just like the ones that were all the rage at CES 2012.
The best reward? Getting your hands on one of the very first Transparent Speakers for almost half the planned retail price. Please note that your credit card will not be charged for your pledge until the campaign finishes at 27th of January. Thank you for showing your support
Risks and challenges
Building a new kind sustainable consumer electronic product is a complex and time-consuming task. We are humble to the challenge and know there are many pieces that will need to be put together for it to work. One such thing is obviously financial, and only with the help from Kickstarter, will be able to get to production of the first Transparent Speaker.
Getting to the point where we can ship the speaker to your door from the point we are at now, involves the following:
1) Getting the design and construction ready for production. All the components must fit together, literally air-tight. There is so much to take into regard when finishing this up.
2) Getting the electronics to really perform. This is no small feat. We have a functioning prototype with all the components in place. Right now, we are finishing the wiring to send the first batch of PCBs to manufacturing.
3) Setting up a quality assured manufacturing chain. In every step of the production, our manufacturers need to have strict guidelines and tests to sort out the good units from the bad as early as possible. To assist us with this, we are leveraging the knowledge of people that have done this over and over for many projects before.
4) Setting up global distribution of speakers made out of glass.
We are not shying away from any of these challenges. While we are taking them seriously, we are adamant in overcoming any problem. We are committed to getting the Transparent Speaker into the market and have all the skills needed to do so. With the help from the Kickstarter community, we can have the resources to move into production while also completing all of the tasks above!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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