If there is one area for improvement on the iPad, it’s probably sound quality. While the device obviously has sound, it’s not optimized for hearing things from far away or group viewing experiences, only limiting its list of uses. OIO is out to change that with Amp, a sleek speaker system case for iPad Air.
Through innovative technology, low-profile speakers are built into a snap-on housing for the iPad. Thin, flat electromagnetic coils are responsible for the resonating sound the Amp produces.
“These flat discs are adhered to the back of a flat panel which is a couple of millimeters thick, and that panel is made of a resin fiber honeycomb,” says Designer & Innovator Gregg Davis. “It’s extremely lightweight, and allows this flat surface, which replaces a cone in a regular speaker, to vibrate and create all that great sound.”
Once in place, the Amp provides not only a sound system, but also a protective case and stand for the iPad. The speakers fold over to protect the screen and are attached with the same hinge mechanisms found on laptops allowing nearly 360 degrees of adjustment. A stand with similar hinges props the iPad upright, turning it into a theater-type setup.
“The speaker sizes are of a full half of the surface of the iPad,” Davis says. It puts out such an incredible amount of volume he says, “Everybody who looks at these things, looks at them and says where’s the sound coming from?”
There are no wired connections with the Amp, it all works through Bluetooth 4.0. While the iPad is not in use, the Amp can also connect with any other device that uses Bluetooth. The Amp will keep those devices in its memory and connect automatically within range.
Charging is also a snap.
“It has an internal lithium ion battery which charges just like the iPad does,” Davis says. It comes with its own cable that can be used with the iPad wall adapter.
As for their target market, “Everyone who buys an iPad,” Davis says. He realizes that’s a rather expansive market, but iPad users really do run the gamut in both demographics and how they can utilize the technology. They might be families with kids that want to watch cartoons, a cook whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, a diy-er watching a home improvement video or doctors watching a new training video.
“It’s for anything and everything that iPad brings,” Davis says. “And that’s why for us this is a perfect market – it’s really for those people who want to amp up their iPad and really get out of it what it was meant to be.”
The product comes from the minds at Design Central, a nearly three-decade long operation that does market research and product development.
“Our job at Design Central is to take raw ideas and bring them to life,” Davis says.
The company does everything from research to building prototypes, and when they came across the raw technology for the Amp speakers, OIO was born. Davis and other members wanted to create a separate business to focus on the Amp and not interfere with other work.
The project is far along – the Amp is fully designed, engineered and tooling has begun – but OIO is turning to crowdfunding for their final push. A Kickstarter launching today will help in placing the first order of units and finalizing manufacturing tooling.
“When we looked around for ways to bring it into the world, the whole excitement around crowdfunding over the past few years has been absolutely amazing,” Davis says. “It really is what I would call a democratization of entrepreneurship.”
Davis points out that their campaign and project are significantly further along than some other concepts typically found on crowdfunding sites.
“We happen to be probably way ahead of the curve in assurance because this is our life, we do product development for a living and engineering for a living,” Davis says.
For more information, visit oioworld.com.