Innovation That Matters

Transparent speaker notifies owner when parts go wrong

Work & Lifestyle

A Swedish company has designed a speaker that alerts users when and which parts need repair.

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Being able to pre-empt when a machine needs repair is more sustainable, and we have seen new technology developed in this area. Last year we saw a driver safety system developed by Caterpillar which measures the condition and wear of equipment, notifying workers when things need repair. And just last month we wrote about an Israeli startup that is revolutionising the automobile industry, using deep learning and ultrasonic technology to detect mechanical problems before they occur. Now People People are applying this approach to a domestic product.


A Swedish product and technology design company, People People have developed Small Transparent Speaker, a speaker which notifies customers if a part requires replacing. Measuring 2.5 inches in size, a pair of speakers sits in the middle of transparent frame made from hardened glass and stainless steel and contains a built-in amplifier. It works by connecting to a smartphone, or a jack in the front. If a problem occurs with the speaker, a notification is sent to the owner’s phone to show which part needs fixing and what next steps are. The speaker is designed to be easily taken apart so that the user can replace the part needing repair if they choose. Otherwise, the company send a prepaid shipping package to facilitate the return, reusing the parts where possible. This system is both sustainable and creates a product life cycle that the customer can trust.

Will more companies follow suit and invest in this sustainable way of doing things?




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