Published on September 17th, 2014 | By: Jessica McMathis1
Ceramics turned electronics made beautifulPublished on September 17th, 2014 | By: Jessica McMathis
[Image above] Ceramic art is beautiful but so, too, are ceramic materials, like those included in this bluetooth speaker from Pelty. Credit: Pelty
We all know that ceramic artwork is beautiful—but ceramic materials can be just as pretty to look at, particularly when they are fashioned into pieces of art in their own right.
To prove it, I present two of the best-looking electronics (or electronic accessories) floating through my RSS feeds—two products that draw their beauty from form, function, and, most importantly, science.
Up first is the Pelty Bluetooth speaker. Made of ceramic and glass by local Italian artisans (che bello!), the “powered by fire” speaker takes the thermal energy of a candle and turns it into electric energy to power your next dance party. No batteries, no plugs, no outlets are needed—just the light and heat of your favorite vanilla bean, moonlight madness, or unscented candle, and, of course, the perfect soundtrack.
The Indiegogo-funded project has already raised more than a third of the money needed to reach its goal and, according to designer Gianluca Gamba and company, will deliver the thermoelectric speaker sooner than anticipated.
According to Pelty’s website, “The space inside the Pelty and its components are designed to maximize this difference in temperature. Everything is positioned inside the ceramic vase accordingly, thanks to wood and ceramic frames. The external glass is also engineered to maximize the power generated by the TEG, because several holes let fresh air get into the system from below, while warm air gets out from above.”
The team chose ceramic and glass over plastic because of their “excellent technical characteristics.”
“Ceramic, in particular, is used on the one hand because of its resistance to heat and the excellent insulation properties and, on the other hand, because it’s an elegant and natural premium quality material that perfectly matches the concept of Pelty,” they write.
Check out this fire-powered speaker in the video below.
Credit: Pelty; YouTube
Next, I present Swich—the smartphone stand for the girl (or boy) who has everything.
Designed by Lutman Design Studio (Slovenia), the stand is made of sustainable materials—wood and ceramic—and contains a power transmission pad and receiver that allow it to function as a wireless charger, easily charging your device at a user- and viewer-friendly angle.
Like Pelty, Swich, too, lends its name to science.
According to its Kickstarter site, “The round arc of Swich was derived from the form of wild sea waves. The signature structure is pushing the phone to glide atop of the microsuction, a reminiscence to surfers riding waves. Swich in fact is sending power through waves to your smartphone device.”
Additionally, the user can rotate the stand (and phone) vertically or horizontally at an incline of 180 degrees.
Just as important as the design, however, were the materials.
“Ceramics were a key component because we want to expand our production in different color variations,” they write on the site. “We were looking for a material that would possibly carry graphic images, logos, or photos. We prepared the Premium package for this campaign, just to show the possibilities ceramics have to offer. We plan to expand our offer via stretch goal updates.”
Lutman has been working on the project for more than a year, and has already met its Kickstarter funding goal of $25,000. They plan to continue testing its prototypes before entering the production process.
You can read more about both products—and their progress—on their respective company websites.
Now it’s your turn: What beauty do you see in the electronics around you?
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