Too often newfangled music gear, like newfangled music itself, lacks a certain feel. Interacting with touchscreens is more symbolic and less significant feeling than, say, dropping a needle on vinyl grooves or cranking up a large, weighted volume knob. Vol., a new speaker concept by designer Carson Leong, puts the sensuousness back to the act of increasing or decreasing volume.
The function of the design is more akin to a Venetian blind than a knob. When the outer layer (made from Santoprene TPV) is cinched up tight, the music, like sunlight, can’t get through, thus the volume is all the way down. Push down on the sleeve, though, and the gaps burst open, letting the sound waves burst through the anodized aluminum core — the open stripes even look like the sound wave shapes. It’s the like an analog touchscreen device, which engages the senses directly — much more rewarding than hitting a + or – symbol or a button.
We’ve covered haptics before — designing new ways to interact with objects that physically connect us with the way they actually work — but this is a particularly beautiful example since the analog feedback results in an almost sculptural form.