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SparkBlocks: A speaker system with a Phonebloks approach
Everyone remembers Phonebloks, right? Anyway, even if you haven’t, the concept of making everything modular is a marvel idea, but is not anything new. Sure, some would argue that making everything modular takes away the potential functionality, but with the rise of rapid prototyping and with ambitious projects like Google’s Project Ara, we’ve been seeing an uprising of modular integration as a potential design language of the future, but anyone can clearly see that it’s still quite a bit away until we walk into the Apple Store and start building our iPhone 32 right at the Genius Bar, but modular systems have proven to hold a lot of promise, but more development is needed for modular systems to be as reliable as proprietary systems. And I digress. With the rise of crowdfunding websites, many modular systems have been proposed from modular phone cases to modular phones altogether.
Enter SparkBlocks. It’s…a modular speaker system. Now, like most modular systems, there’s some sort of base model or endoskeleton in said system, and the same rings true here. The base is known as the Main Block and is a standalone speaker. It functions to be solely a speaker. With that, every single block has these notches on four or two of the sides, depending on the shape of the block. Blocks can be conjoined with a coupler that slides in between two blocks that you wish to be conjoined.
Now, the blocks are designed to be open source so anyone can make blocks for SparkBlocks, but the first suite will consist of a Battery block, Tweeter lock, SmartBlock, and LED Block. Battery block is pretty self-explanatory: It gives more battery to the main block boosting the existing 4 hours of playback to 12 hours. I suppose the LED Block is also pretty self-explanatory. The Tweeter Block contains a high frequency speaker and audio filter. Additionally, the SmartBlock contains WiFi and Bluetooth functionality with Android and iOS compatibility.
With only three days left in its campaign, this is a very ambitious idea, but funding is currently pretty tight at the time of this post at $50,441 USD to $79,046 USD. Modular systems may not be as reliable as proprietary systems, but if you’re looking to invest in a modular speaker system, check out the Kickstarter page.