They're calling it "the ultimate iPod/iPhone accessory" and, at $1,500, so they should be. Bluetooth gadget manufacturer Parrot has unveiled a set of wireless speakers called Zikmu, designed by minimalist designer Philippe Starck.
You know you're in trouble when the press release starts: "To discover an object or a place designed by Philippe Starck is to walk into a world of vivid imagination and to live a fantasy. For more than 30 years, this unconventional creator, designer and architect has been boldly present in our everyday life, creating iconic destinations that are pure poetry and change the vision of life and objects that are "good" before they are beautiful."
"These speakers are thoroughly modern, thanks to all their technical specifications and minimalist design," explains Starck.
"We were not aiming to create just another speaker," he continues. "Our design focused more on making the air vibrate. There is actually a three-dimensional feel to this vibration, meaning that the air is palpable, almost humanlike in presence, like a fragrance."
"They feature the most extreme and innovative technology with the fewest possible materials to deliver maximum effect: that is the magic."
Zikmu wirelessly streams audio tracks. The two speakers communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology in order to position both speakers wherever in the room.
"The way we listen to music has radically changed: when I was a kid, you took an LP, you put it on the record player and then you listened to it," explains Henri Seydoux, CEO and founder of Parrot.
"Nowadays, you carry your music around with you, which can come from a wide range of sources. With the Parrot by Philippe Starck speakers, we wanted to create an eye-catching product to accompany these new ways of enjoying music," he adds.
The speakers feature an Apple iPod docking station built into one of the columns. Audio tracks can also be streamed from a user's PC or Mac to the speakers via Wi-Fi or through Bluetooth stereo (A2DP) wireless technology.
Zik as a Parrot
The speakers use innovative audio technology to bring consumers a 360° immersive sound experience thanks to NXT technology. An extra-flat membrane creates small-scale vibrations across its entire surface to "faithfully reproduce the medium and treble frequencies, optimally radiating sound from both sides of the speaker".
Regardless of the size of the room and the position of the columns, the sound will adapt to the acoustics, claims Parrot.
The size of the speakers (2.5 feet tall) has been specially designed to maximise listening quality when sitting on the sofa or at the desk for an optimal sound experience every day.
Starck is famous for designing many weird pieces of furniture, as well as an optical mouse for Microsoft, yachts, and the Virgin Galactic spaceport in New Mexico.