Swedish design firm makes big noise in Vegas

Swedish design firm makes big noise in Vegas
Swedish product design company Teenage Engineering made a splash at the CES fair in Las Vegas this week after presenting its latest innovation - the world's first 'cloud speaker'.

The OD – 11 Cloud Speaker allows users to stream music from cloud services without the need for a computer.

The retro-style cube-shaped speaker is based on a 1974 design by Swedish audio engineer Stig Carlsson, who challenged the audio industry in the 1960s and 1970s by designing loudspeakers for realistic home contexts, as opposed to the common practice of developing speakers for perfectly damped rooms.

Carlsson's original OD – 11 HiFi speaker was the most affordable of its time, with 10,000 pairs sold in Sweden alone.

Teenage Engineering has worked closely with the Stig Carlsson Foundation to fulfill his mission of creating great natural sound, the company said.

The speaker features an angled tweeter and woofer, with sound coming out from the top of the speaker.

The idea is that the speaker 'throws' the sound into the room so that it surrounds the listener.

The OD-11 is controlled by a knob-shaped remote, which can be pushed and rotated to adjust the volume or to skip tracks. It has a magnetic bottom so it can be attached to a fridge or to the speaker itself.

The speaker comes with several remotes in different colours so that each family member can have their own and can 'battle' for control over the music from different rooms in a home.

Teenage Engineering is a new and small company, set up in 2010 by Jesper Kouthoofd, who also co-founded Acne International and has been a consultant for several high-profile design and technology projects, including Ikea's camera Knäppa.

The company is based in Stockholm and employs 13 people who are either musicians or have worked with music production.

Teenage Engineering generated a great deal of interest at CES show, with tech magazine The Verge praising its “innovative, weird, wildly creative products”.

Along with the OD – 11 Cloud Speaker, Teenage Engineering also brought samples of its first product – a miniature synthesizer – to the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. It has only been on the market for one year but 5,000 have been sold already.

The OD – 11 Cloud Speaker will be available in the summer of 2013 for the high-end home audio market.

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