Beautifully minimalist ceramic stereo finds a use for NFC

first_imgThe venerable stereo has been supplanted by an assortment of smartphones, media players, and wireless speakers. There is no denying that the convenience of having nearly unlimited media at your fingertips is a big win, but don’t you wish the audio experience was a little more sophisticated sometimes? Enter the ceramic stereo.The ceramic stereo is an art project by design student and Londoner Victor Johansson. So to get this out of the way — no, you can’t buy it. That’s a bummer, because plenty of folks are going to see the appeal. The ceramic speaker takes its inspiration from a key bowl where one might toss keys when returning home. The speaker is the same thing, but for a phone. The obvious difference is that the speaker will play music when the phone is placed in certain spots.The entire device is handmade, with a glazed ceramic surround that encases the white oak central platform. Beneath the lovely exterior is a mass of cables and wires that control the functionality. Johansson spent quite a while designing the interior to hold all the necessary sensors and electronics, while still making room for the speaker to do its thing.The phone’s position is detected with NFC pads under the surface. By sliding the phone to one of the three active positions, you trigger an action. You can play, pause, and turn on the radio. A text indicator pops up in the fabric ring around the perimeter when each action is detected.This project isn’t just about making a pretty speaker, but about showing how the media on a device can be accessed in a more graspable way. Most Bluetooth speakers have complicated pairing routines, as well as a doubling of volume and playback controls. The ceramic speaker makes everything simple — limited, but simple.An ideal consumer version of this product might add wireless charging to the mix, but for now this is just a proof-of-concept. You can check out the full build process on Johansson’s site.last_img read more