Portland, OR-based design studio New isn't, um, new to the portable audio game: their portfolio includes work for the likes of Logitech and UltimateEars, among other high-profile clients. However, the "Zooka" bluetooth speaker marks Patrick Triato & co.'s first foray into the exciting (and, at times, lucrative) world of Kickstarted product design.
The "Zooka" is specifically designed for the iPad, which dictates its size (it attaches to the tablet lengthwise) and shape: the ellipsoid tube or 'bar' of speaker has a slot where, again, it can be attached to an Apple device (viewed from the side, it looks like a slightly squished Pac-Man). The speakers themselves—a solid five times louder than the iPad's tinny onboard drivers—are located on either end of the bar, which has an additional cutaway at dead center to accommodate a MacBook Pro without blocking the iSight camera.
Instead of imitating Apple's sleek aluminum aesthetic, New has wisely opted to use medical-grade silicone for "Zooka." The soft-touch exterior offers both superior durability and ergonomics, while its minimalist, monochromatic form factor complements the glass+metal of the devices themselves.
The speakers can connect both over Bluetooth and with a traditional 3.5mm audio jack.
The "Zooka" starts at $89 on Kickstarter, 10% off the expected retail price. Seeing as they have over a month to make the last 25% or so (˜$6500) of their funding goal, we have no doubt that they'll succeed... and who knows, maybe they'll join Scott Wilson's TikTok on the hallowed shelves of the Apple store.