Birdy: A Speaker That Brings Music to Life

Creating an Emotional Connection Through Design

Birdy is a unique speaker designed by Leijing Zhou and Xin An that aims to bridge the gap between technology and human emotion. Inspired by the interaction between humans and bird pets, Birdy offers a more natural and intuitive way to control music playback, while also providing a visually captivating and emotionally engaging user experience.

Birdy's design draws inspiration from the way bird breeders stroke and interact with their pets. The speaker features a bird-shaped game stick at the top, which users can swing like a joystick to control their music. By swinging the bird backward or forward, users can adjust the volume, while swinging it left or right allows them to skip to the previous or next song. This unique interaction method adds a tactile and interactive element to the music listening experience, making it feel more natural and intuitive.

What sets Birdy apart from traditional speakers is its ability to evoke an emotional connection. The designers wanted to create a speaker that goes beyond being a geometric object and instead feels like a living creature. By emulating the experience of touching and interacting with a live bird, Birdy provides a refreshing departure from the cold and lifeless nature of conventional speakers.

The speaker itself is a conical shape, with the bird located at the top and a powerful dual-channel class D amplifier and two 5W drivers in the bottom cone. The top of the cone features a joystick sensor that detects the movement of the bird above it in both the XY axes, allowing for precise control of the music playback.

Aside from its music-playing capabilities, Birdy also doubles as a smart home assistant that responds to different bird calls. This adds an element of interactivity and fun to the speaker, making it a versatile and engaging device for the modern home.

The Birdy project started in March 2021 in Qingdao and was completed in September 2022 in Ningbo. Throughout the design process, the team faced the challenge of creating an emotional connection with a technological artifact. By studying the interaction between humans and birds, they were able to extract the natural connection birds have with music and translate it into a unique and innovative design.

Birdy's exceptional design and functionality have been recognized with the Iron A' Design Award in the Audio and Sound Equipment Design category in 2023. This prestigious award is given to well-designed, practical, and innovative creations that meet professional and industrial requirements. Birdy's ability to integrate industry best practices, competent technical characteristics, and provide fulfillment and positive feelings contributes to a better world.

With its captivating design and emotionally engaging user experience, Birdy is not just a speaker, but a work of art that brings music to life.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Zhou Leijing
Image Credits: Xin An
Project Team Members: Leijing Zhou Xin An
Project Name: Birdy
Project Client: Zhou Leijing

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