We've seen a number of designs for electricity-free speakers for iPhones -- something that will direct the sound so that it is much louder and more clear to listeners than just the iPhone's speakers can produce. However, we finally have a design that does the same thing for iPads.
As is the case with the iPhone, the iPad's speaker isn't awesome... not even close. But that doesn't mean a simple accessory can't fix the issue. If you want to listen to sound, from a YouTube video to a movie to music, then you might want to check out a very smart design idea called the Amplifiear.
This project is on Kickstarter and is gaining traction. The design is simple, it's basically like a shallow bowl with a notch cut out so it can clamp on to your iPad. The sound is then directed and amplified so you can hear the full range of sound coming from your device.
Amplifiear's designers state, "There are other options; we can use headphones, but they are isolating and only work for personal use. We can plug our iPad into our sound system with the headphone jack, but this defies the best part of the iPad, its mobility. Bluetooth speakers drain our battery faster, and even if our sound system is portable, we still have a second device that we need to recharge. Why would we deal with any of these hassles if there were a product that could clip right onto our iPad and simply amplify and clarify the sound that is already coming out of our iPad, using the simple geometry of an old gramophone. The Amplifiear does just this."
The low-tech accessory clips on to the iPad. It has a diameter of just 4 inches, and a thickness of just three-quarters of an inch. It is made of ABS plastic, which is an extremely common plastic used for this type of item and is completely recyclable. There are no electronic parts, and no electricity needed. We love that.
We also love that it is packaged in minimal cardboard, which is both recyclable and biodegradable -- though we would have loved it if the packaging itself were already recycled material. Still, the design of the packaging causes very little waste, which is a big plus.
Here's the sound test showing what a difference it makes:
And here is the Kickstarter video that shows the story behind the design and the benefits of the Amplifiear:
The project has already raise just over $7,000 of its $10,000 goal, and there is still nearly a month left for fundraising. With such a simple design, I can't imagine this not being a popular accessory for iPads.