Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jambox in a Shoebox

The product is about as big as a slimline brick, and feels similar, if bricks were made from metal. Or maybe a heavy, extra-thick version of an old-fashioned chalkboard eraser.

It's called Jambox, and it's a tiny amplifier that works with the iPhone. No need to plug the phone into the Jambox -- it works with the wireless Bluetooth system. And it doesn't need big speakers because it uses the table or whatever it's set on to generate the base sounds. In my case, it is often set on the clothes dryer while I am sorting through basement detritus.

All that is nifty enough, even for someone like me who is not a tech geek: a small, battery-powered amplifier for my phone/iPod that just works.

But the thing I liked even better was the package it came in. You know how tech stuff always comes embedded in Stryofoam® cushions you never manage to throw out, but always find stashed somewhere years later? (13 percent of my basement detritus is, in fact, Styrofoam or other packaging materials.)

None of that for Jambox. It's all recycled and recyclable, and designed for ease of use. Plus, the whole thing is so damned clever.

Jambox package, brown shoebox lid with black boombox illustration, black bottom on the box
The box is a shoebox. Even the label on the short end looks like the labels shoe companies use.

And there's a two-part joke that starts with this illustration of a big boombox just like one I had in the 1980s...

The opened Jambox package, revealing the product, a black rectangle abou 2 x 6 inches
...and ends with the tiny product, nested in a bed of recycled paperboard.

Same view with the product removed, revealing the word LIFT
Once you lift out the unit using the finger holes, a new bit of instruction is revealed. Kind of like the Drink Me bottle in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Black tray made out of layers of corrugated cardboard, each component's nest of different depth and shape
The top layer pulls out easily to reveal the other components. Instead of Styrofoam, the battery charger, manual and other accessories are cozy within layers of corrugated cardboard.

Side view closer up of the corrugated cardboard
It's a masterpiece of 3D visual thinking and die-cutting, and not one piece of it has to go into the trash.

So far the only thing I've noticed about the product that's less than perfect is that it only works with the iPod app on my phone, not with the MPR app, so I can't use it to listen to the radio, just to my own music or podcasts I've saved.

But other than that, it and its packaging get an A+ from me.

1 comment:

Blythe Woolston said...

That's just glorious. I enjoy tech. I enjoy good design. I enjoy sidelong smiles.