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hearO breathes new life into a retired tennis ball, creating a tactile Bluetooth speaker with a unique sound, look and feel.
An icon of reuse and piece of tennis history fuse into a tactile Bluetooth speaker with a warm and rich sound.
An icon of reuse and piece of tennis history fuse into a tactile Bluetooth speaker with a warm and rich sound.
249 backers pledged £40,712 to help bring this project to life.

About

hearO: a Wireless Speaker in a Championship Tennis Ball project video thumbnail
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hearO: a Wireless Speaker in a Championship Tennis Ball

£40,712

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Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Press Kit

hearO is a high-performance speaker housed in an upcycled championship tennis ball. We have repurposed 2016 Wimbledon Championship tennis balls into beautiful sounding speakers. We engineered our electronics in France and we will cut, assemble and package hearO in Britain.

"These speakers are baller!"Mashable

"It takes a different brand of creativity to look at a tennis ball and decide that it would make a dashing Bluetooth speaker." – Yanko Design

"The best wireless speakers are portable, durable, and make your music sound great... the tennis balls satisfy the first two criteria... why not also try to satisfy the third?" – Tech Insider

"Sometimes a great idea takes a lot of balls." – Men's Health

"... take those tennis balls and give them a new lease on life." – Ubergizmo

"... a nifty idea, acoustically speaking, as the rounded cavity and soft felt give them quite a warm and rich sound..."Leo Burnett Blog

"... blends usability and sustainability with a refined aesthetic."– Inhabitat

"Here’s a treat for Wimbledon fans!" – BGR

"The hearO Bluetooth speaker has balls... one ball at least." – Stuff 

Consider what happens to the thousands of tennis balls that are left over after a major tournament. For Wimbledon alone, Slazenger supplies over 55,000 balls each year. If you include all four Grand Slam tournaments around the world, that’s 230,000 championship tennis balls. 

hearO represents a change in attitude and vision; a recognition that retired championship tennis balls have untapped potential.

Sports memorabilia is usually left on the sidelines. What if we could make it a fun, useful part of everyday life?

Above are working hearO prototypes signed by Roger Federer (left) and Novak Djokovic (right) at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals, London.  

hearO reimagines a once-forgotten object into a product with value and purpose. 

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hearO is portable, durable and ready to pair with any Bluetooth-enabled media device. 

The tennis ball serves as a tactile protective skin for hearO's electronics. 

A single button controls all essential functions, turning hearO on and off and allowing it to pair with your phone, tablet or computer.

 hearO charges from a custom cradle with a 360-degree magnetic connection.

 hearO fits perfectly in the hand.

Take your hearO with you.

hearO's grill pattern is a Fibonacci spiral that optimises sound projection.  

hearO offers tennis fans, design buffs and upcycling enthusiasts a unique speaker made from a repurposed tennis ball. 

We hope you love these rewards which we will customise, assemble and package in our London studio. Here are our top picks.

   

The hearO set
The hearO set

 

 A hearO speaker's default colour is the standard fluorescent tennis ball yellow. However, yours can be ordered in any of six other colours. 

 

We achieve these colours using organic fabric dye prior to cutting and assembly. 

In addition to picking a colour, you may also engrave your hearO tin with an initial, name or short message.

Please include an additional £5 ($7 or €6) for each customisation you would like. For example, engraving your hearO tin and customising your colour would cost £10 on top of the price for the hearO set you selected. We will reach out to our backers and arrange the details of each personalisation after the end of the campaign. Feel free to contact us with any questions about hearO's personalisation options. 

• Bluetooth 4.0
• Speaker 3W
• Battery 400mAh
• 5 hours wireless power at 70% volume
• One-button connectivity to any Bluetooth-enabled device 
• USB to micro USB connection

Our speaker’s design evolved in tandem with our cutting techniques. The ball forms a protective skin for hearO's electronics, which were specially to designed to complement the properties of a tennis ball.

Our final tennis ball skin is a slanted form that retains 75% of the original ball, striking a balance between ergonomics, aesthetics and sound projection.

 

To develop and manufacture hearO, we partnered with electronics design experts at the Innov8 Group, a Paris-based atelier. For our tennis ball skins, we collaborated with rubber cutting specialists from the Woodash Group in the Boot and Shoe Quarter of Northampton, England. 

These partnerships have allowed us to take hearO from a concept to a reliable product ready to be enjoyed all over the world. 

To learn more about this project's inspiration and journey, please visit hearO's website

Since its founding in 2014, Rogue Projects has taken on consulting and concept work for projects ranging from router design to modern interior architecture. hearO will be the first consumer product developed and sold by Rogue Projects. The studio’s driving ethos is to challenge and rethink consumption.

We hope that hearO’s story and design resonate with you. We would love you to help make this project happen and be part of hearO's first production run. With your support, we will be able to continue sharing our product and story with the world.

For more information about Rogue Projects and our previous work please visit our website.

 

Risks and challenges

Our most likely source of problems is the international nature of this project. We are making our speakers with our partners in Paris, Shenzhen and Northampton. Our collaboration has been smooth so far but we have limited control over their processes and timelines. For this first run, we will assemble and package the speakers in our studio in London.

We delayed our launch by a day to give ourselves time to respond to the changes in international exchange rates following the Brexit vote. We have chosen not to increase our reward prices, but have increased our funding goal to account for the new exchange rates and the possibility of further financial turbulence during our campaign. We do not foresee any difficulty with our international partnerships or reward shipping as a result of the referendum.

The price at which we are offering each hearO set is based on manufacturing a larger number of speakers than is reflected in our funding goal. Our financial planning relies on selling any surplus speakers after our campaign. We are hoping to use Kickstarter to cover our tooling expenses and prove hearO’s commercial viability. A successful campaign would allow us to deliver hearO to our backers but would not cover our development overheads.

We have made the major professional tennis bodies (the ATP and WTA) privy to the project. We would like to form official partnerships with these organizations and would finalize these relationships after the end of our campaign.

We have sourced tennis balls from the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon for our development and have enough in our studio to cover our first production run. We are in talks to obtain tennis balls from this year’s Wimbledon Championships and other professional tournaments. We will include these in our rewards if we are successful and will keep our backers updated about our progress.

We’re excited to continue building our relationships with tennis organisations both locally and internationally.

We do not have any other active campaigns and will be concentrating our efforts on delivering hearO smoothly to our backers.

For any more information about hearO’s development and planning, feel free to contact hello@hearospeaker.com.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    You helped build this!

    Your name, initials or pen name will be displayed on the hearO website. You will receive updates as our campaign progresses. You help make special projects like hearO happen. Thank you so much!

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £45 or more About $60

    Early Bird hearO Set

    hearO speaker and charging cradle with micro USB cable in custom hearO tin exclusive to early backers.

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    Reward no longer available 90 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $67

    hearO Set

    hearO speaker with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    59 backers
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    Pledge £85 or more About $114

    Early Bird hearO Doubles Pack

    2 x hearO speaker with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin exclusive to early backers.

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    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £90 or more About $121

    hearO Doubles Pack

    2 x hearO speaker with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    23 backers
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About $201

    Pat Cash hearO

    Kickstarter exclusive hearO speaker signed by Pat Cash, with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge £150 or more About $201

    Michael Chang hearO

    Kickstarter exclusive hearO speaker signed by youngest ever Grand Slam Champion, Michael Chang, with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge £150 or more About $201

    Lleyton Hewitt hearO

    Kickstarter exclusive hearO speaker signed by Lleyton Hewitt, with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About $201

    Ivan Llendl hearO

    Kickstarter exclusive hearO speaker signed by Ivan Llendl, with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £250 or more About $335

    hearO Tennis Experience

    A Rogue Projects studio visit, a friendly tennis match with the founder, dinner at the Queen's Club and, of course, your own hearO set.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $670

    Gift Pack of 12

    Collection Gift Pack: 12 x hearO speaker and cradle with micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $1,005

    Andy Murray hearO and Gift Pack of 12

    Kickstarter exclusive hearO speaker Wimbledon 2016 signed by Andy Murray, with charging cradle and micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

    Collection Gift Pack: 12 x hearO speaker and cradle with micro USB cable in custom hearO tin.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About $6,697

    hearO Experience

    A one-day workshop that includes a Rogue Projects studio visit and a tour of Innov8's Paris studio. Along with 2 fully customisable hearO Gift Packs of 12. Eurostar tickets included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)