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This Speaker Borrows Its Design From An Unlikely Source: Monkey Tails

Most of us likely listen to music from our headphones when we’re on the go, but a new speaker by German designers for the Italian brand Palomar might convince you to switch things up.

The device itself isn’t so unusual: it’s a combination radio and Bluetooth speaker that can also work as a speakerphone. But its stroke of genius is in an antenna/handle that gleans inspiration from simian sources. Made from spring steel–a flexible metal that bends easily–it curls around objects to stay put, just like how a monkey uses its tail to swing from tree limbs and branches, and releases just as easily.

“We wanted to create an iconic object featuring both a playful interpretation of the classic radio image and a contemporary unique portability,” the designers stated on Palomar’s website. “This implied an easy way of fastening the radio to anything. Our goal was to achieve this with the radio itself, without an additional component like a strap, and we came up with the idea of using the antenna for this feature. Fascinated by the aptitude of spring steel, we found the perfect material for the antenna.”

Thanks to a bit of biomimicry, the radio–which comes in red, black, and white–is ultra portable. Palomar shows a handful of applications on its site: wrapping the antenna around ladders, wrists, desk lamps, and bicycle handlebars, the latter of which seems to be the most useful.

The Monkey is available from palomarweb.com for 69 Euro (about $73) and begins shipping March 20.DB