During an age when the way that we listen to music has become streamlined, Yamaha is aiming to challenge the notion of complacency for consumers whose options are hyper-integrated into every other aspect of their lives; where novelty is a dying breed, if not still capable of piquing our interest. The Japanese company has tapped the Master Product Design students at ECAL to think of new ways in which both audiophiles and the common music lover of the next generation can still find music consumption interesting.
Together they came up with six new concepts, collectively called “Yamaha Sound Machines,” which combine innovative technology as well as aesthetically pleasing designs for both creators and consumers. Featuring a built-in conductor stick, the Bandmait gives musicians an AI partner to rehearse with, rather than having to practice alone. A product of the pandemic, which put a pause on in-person concerts for months, the Stagespeaker mimics the concert experience with lights and sound. And as we try to manage our stress and anxiety in different ways, ASMR Instruments help us achieve a sensory response through both sound and motion.
For those who value all types of audio mediums, the Spezi is an input switcher that creates smoother transitions between different audio devices without necessarily needing to pick one over the other. The volume on your turntable, for instance, can become softer as you turn your television volume louder. Speaking of vinyl, the vertical record player is nothing new, per se, but the floor-standing version on display here employs a forward-thinking design. On a more abstract level, the Sound Frame is a rectangular frame speaker that allows you to assign songs or playlists to certain meaningful objects in your life so that when you place that object within the speaker’s frame, a camera recognizes it, triggering its respective music.
Presented last week at Milan Design Week, these six concepts seek to be an alternative to virtual (or mobile) listening solutions. There are no plans yet to put any of them into production, but you can head over to Yamaha Design Lab’s Instagram page to learn more.