Challenge 9: Minimalist Headphones

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The counterculture we chose to address with our headphones is minimalism. The idea sprung from thinking about “tiny homes,” a new phenomena of a small square footage home with everything you need. The small space made us think about the concept of minimalism. The culture surrounds itself in creating an idea of freedom from objects and consumer culture. It is kind of ironic that we are saying that our consumer good, the headphones, are somehow help with the development of this counter-culture into a norm in the future. However, minimalism helps to make the decisions of consumption more conscious, at the forefront of your brain. Thus, the overall idea is to make oneself more content with life, more in the moment, and even more creative.

So how are we going to confront this counter-culture and bring it into fruition as a norm simply through headphones? We offer up the idea of an all-in-one product, eliminating consumption of individual products that together would make up the whole of the headphones. We began with exploring the idea of headphones and speakers in one system. Thus, the ear part of the headphones is removable and can be turned to face outward, with the headphones standing upside down on a surface, enabling the headphones to turn into speakers. By doing this, we remove the need for a consumer to own both headphones and speakers. While our prototype does not have the volume capacity for speakers, in the future versions of the headphones we would hope to create volume control based on the direction of the headphones, so that when the user has them on their head the volume would not surpass too loud of a level.

In further iterations of the headphones, we would create other features as well to minimize product consumption. The headphones would be advanced enough to have the technology to connect to a user’s Spotify (or other) account, making it so that songs are easily accessible and the headphones do not require a phone to connect the cable to. We also want to implement the idea of a Amazon Echo or Google Assistant, which would create the need for internet within the device for an on-the-go virtual assistant. This then enables the ability of home control, which would be essential for helping to move around in a tiny home. By adding on more features thoughout time, we hope that these headphones would lead into the modernist world of minimalism, eliminating the number of products people would need to own, encouraging the life in tiny homes, with need for little in one’s life for contentment and success.

listen to our playlist here

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