Would you pay $100 for a cutting board with a few holes drilled in it? No? Are you sure? Because somebody certainly does. In fact, as of this writing, 349 people have ponied up between $68 and $98 to pre-order the Slate Mobile AirDesk on Kickstarter, a wooden laptop tray that lets you put your laptop on your lap. Like a sap.
All of Thinksound’s earphones encompass three basic principles: They’re made of wood; they’re given the sort of pro-green marketing and manufacturing attention that would satisfy even the most spirited hippy; and they offer big, warm sound for a relatively small price.
But aside from its requisite earthy wooden elements and green cred, Thinksound’s new supra-aural On1 studio monitors is taking the small company into uncharted territory.
As long as Miniot keeps making its lovely wooden iPad cases, we’ll keep writing about them. The latest is this rather fetching little number for the iPad, arriving just in time to cover the front of your hot new Retina model with slivers of dead trees.
Just as night follows day, death follows taxes and blissful sleep follows energetic coitus, so a new iPad is always followed by a new case. And for me that case might just be Grove’s gorgeous new Wood Smart Case for the mini and the new iPad Air.
If you have a router (no, not that kind of router), a chunk of plywood and some mad craft skillz, then you could make your own Undulating Contours charging station. If you are missing any one of those, then, it’d be better to spend the $24 on the real thing, hand-hewn in Louisiana.
I absolutely love my Magic Trackpad. It gives me all the functionality of my MacBook’s trackpad, only on a huge panel which can be placed to the left or the right of my keyboard. For a while I was even using two of them, but that deviation is now over (side note: if you want a Trackpad and live near Barcelona then hit me up on Twitter or e-mail). But my happiness with Apple’s glass-n-aluminum slab doesn’t stop me coveting the Touch Slab from Orée, possibly the best-named Mac peripheral ever.
What is it? The Touch Slab is a trackpad carved from solid wood.
There’s something that happens to a certain kind of person when it comes to hobbies: The acquisition of gear becomes more important than the hobby itself. Take photography, for instance.
One short trip to the Internet will fill your browser with awful, pointless photos taken by men with cameras that cost them a fortune. You’ll see truly lame family snapshots taken on an $8,000 Leica Monochrom, posted with notes about the tonality and the bokeh, as if the gear makes these snapshooters into great photographers.
And you’ll see accessories. All kinds of crazy accessories that do little but fuel the need to upgrade to ever more specialized and expensive models.
Back when I worked a Saturday job in a camera store, we’d joke about the men who’d spend so much on a camera that they could only afford the cheap off-brand film. For these folks, there’s the Artisan Obscura shutter release, a tiny, $30 circle of wood that screws into a camera’s shutter release.
Recently on Twitter, our deputy editor John “pipe and slippers” Brownlee posted a picture of his Mac keyboard, with wooden tiles stuck to the keycaps. It was utterly hideous, and yet completely in keeping with John’s fetish for anything made of wood. It was the real-world equivalent green felt or rich Corinthian leather.
This all-wood keyboard, on the other hand, is pretty gorgeous. It comes from French company Orée, it’s called the Orée Board and it costs a steep-ish €150 ($193).
Ever since Jony Ive took over Apple’s industrial design, it has been important to Cupertino to make their products out of material with authenticity and substance, not just cheap plastic. In the pursuit of these goals, Apple has managed to revolutionize the mass-production of not one, but two different materials that had previously gone virtually unused in gadgets, at least externally: glass and aluminum. And Apple’s made big plays to experiment with even more cutting-edge materials, like Liquid Metal.
Here’s a question, then. Apple likes to make its Macs and iPhones out of materials that feel authentic, that give them a unique look and feel. In the pursuit of those materials, Apple has revolutionized at least a couple of industrial design processes.
So what if Jony Ive got it in his head to make iPhones out of wood?