When the Jawbone Jambox was released in 2010 it was treated as a curiosity, I had not yet began my undergraduate degree and portable speakers were not even on my radar. By the time I began my degree in 2012 it was clear that Jawbone was on to something, the market was ballooning into the menagerie of different companies and options that are at our fingertips today. The Jambox remains a bestseller for Jawbone, a testament to the power design has to define markets and build brand recognition.
I love how form moderates meaning in a designed object, and in this respect wireless speakers present an enormous opportunity as mass produced functional sculptures. These devices have very few physical constraints, which leaves a lot of room for exploration and the incorporation of intriguing affordances. It is refreshing to see a new physical product category emerge in a time when our objects are increasingly disappearing into the digital, and portable wireless speakers may present a sneak peek into the future of wireless electronic devices as we cross the threshold of the so called “Internet of things” about to transform our lives.