Anatoliy Omelchenko of Triangle Tree reports that since launching the iBamboo speaker we featured in June 2011, he has received numerous requests from customers asking if there's anything like it that's made from plastic. Despite being made from a material considered stronger than some plastics and metal, users seem worried that the beautifully simple iPhone amplification device may get damaged if made part of their regular travel kit. Enter the new iBamboo Urban design, which is shaped just like its natural elder but is made from recycled plastic.
For the moment, the new Urban speaker is in prototyping. Omelchenko is testing the waters before entering full production. We caught up with the young green designer for a quick chat about a product he sees serving a very different kind of eco-friendly portable music lover than the original.
"The original iBamboo was intended for people who wanted to accessorize their high tech iPhones with something more natural and eco-friendly," says Omelchenko. "To expand to a greater market, I came up with the iBamboo Urban Speaker. Its meant for people with a more active lifestyle who don't want to worry about damaging a bamboo product. However, the product is still electricity free and relies on the resonance and amplification properties of the original design. The plastic used for the iBamboo Urban will be recycled, as an attempt to remove it from our environment. I firmly believe that even small steps such as these help influence society's attitude towards what products they use. My goal above all is to help create a society more conscious of the need to become more eco-friendly and sustainable."
The original iBamboo is said to have added a little warmth and character to the audio output from a docked iPhone, making it a good choice for jazz, folk, soft rock and classic music. The new Urban model is a little different.
"Plastic, like the bamboo, would resonate with the music and produce its own sound," explains its creator. "The iBamboo Urban gives a more crisp sound. Comparing both plastic and organic devices, I noticed that the plastic iBamboo has a moderately sharp/cold sound, making it a better fit for music with stronger percussion."
When the Urban model goes into production, Omelchenko says that he intends to work from the same 3D modeling file used for the current prototypes, which of course means that every unit will be exactly the same - unlike the original, where each one is unique. He is currently polling potential customers for feedback which may influence the product's future. He also told us that the Urban's carry pouch will be made from eco-friendly materials, but one that is smoother than that of the original product.
Triangle Tree is currently scoping out the most suitable manufacturers for production, but the designer told us that the iBamboo Urban model would be available in both clear and solid color versions at a cost of around US$29.