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Want something to REALLY float your boat? Then get a load of these inflatable speakers. No, not a contradiction in terms, but truly, the shape of sound to come. How did they come about? Well, some very, very clever boys up at Loughborough University thought that it was time there was an inflatable you could hear (noting that the market in sheep and dolls was already catered for). After adding some whizz-bang flat panel technology, the result is enough to make your ears smile and your eyes sing. Or maybe the other way round.
Ellula (the spin-off company from Loughborough) is the only sound system in the world that uses an inflatable form to produce sound. And it doesn't stop there Â– as well as being able to recreate any shape in solid coloured or transparent plastic, the speakers produce perfect quality, multi-directional stereo sound. Hook them up to any computer - Mac, PC and laptop Â– and they sound divine. Equally at home on any portable music system (including personal CD, cassette, MP3 and Minidisc players), they combine wacky design with excellent quality sound reproduction.
Of course, we couldn't get you all excited and then not tell you how they worked. If you want to get your paws on some while they're still around, go right ahead and click through. Those with a wardrobe full of anoraks, read on.
The secret's in the NXT SurfaceSoundÂ®; patented by (none other than) UK company NXT, this excites the natural resonances in a small panel contained in the inflatable. The outside of the speaker acts as a secondary radiating surface creating sound across its entire surface. So now you know. Brilliant? Outrageous? All of these and more.
Not surprisingly, they were awarded the prize of Best Innovative Product at the National Incentive Show last year, as well as the even more highly-regarded Gift We'd Really Like To Be Given award at Firebox HQ. Choose from lad(ette)-about-town Budweiser design or the chic C2-Blue. Either way, Ellula have taken a mundane-looking object and turned it into something stylish, fun and utterly unique.