The most common question following a demo of the Bheard Sound Pod, our popular acoustic speaker for smartphones, was "Do you have one for tablets?" Thirty-nine beta-tested versions and many months later, I'm happy to reveal the design for our newest product design in collaboration with Ultimaker.
The Bsonic iPad Speaker by Bhold x Ultimaker is an acoustic amplifier that optimizes sound from your iPad for video or audio. Watch movies and TV shows without worrying about plugging in or having to inch in closer to hear the audio, or listen to music and podcasts as you go about your tasks for the day. Its shape is inspired by a conch seashell and the idea of pressing a shell against your ear to hear ocean waves. The egg- or pod-like curves make it more relevant to our modern lives for daily use and build in our learnings from the Bheard Sound Pod design.
Through expanding Bhold Labs with Ultimaker's 3D sharing platform YouMagine, we opened up the design process to be even more transparent and expanded Labs to be global. It's a first-of-its-kind program in sharing digital prototype files ahead of final release so that anyone anywhere could download the files, 3D print them and send us their feedback. The Bsonic was tested with 64 testers from 22 countries. See how the concept and prototypes evolved over time in the image below, and learn how we worked with Ultimaker and their community to create the finished piece.
It wasn't possible to support all tablets due to inconsistency in speaker placement, but most of our testers and requesters had iPads so we focused on the latest iPad versions.
Expanding the tester base for this design means we were able to remove even more bias from our data, and less bias means better design. Our data driven approach is unique in combining the best of new technology and tools with real user feedback to create a better and more thoughtful final product. Take a more detailed look at our Bsonic speaker and take advantage of its rich sound boost for your video, music and podcasts on your iPad!
About five months ago we were invited to join curated design marketplace AHAlife's global community of designers and launched our AHAlife Bhold shop. It's been super exciting since then to see their expansion and growth with news of their IPO in September and their office move from downtown Manhattan to Brooklyn.
This holiday season, they've selected us as one of 30 featured designers from NYC in AHAPOP, their first ever Pop Up shop that will take place in DUMBO, Brooklyn throughout the weekend. Find our holiday giftables on the 2nd floor of 147 Front Street, Brooklyn, 11201. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stop by to see our newest Bheard Sound Pod Ceramic as well as the Bsteady Car Mount post-Kickstarter, and discover fellow designer brands during your final holiday shopping week!
You might have seen the Bheard Sound Pod in 3D printed ceramic, but ever since ceramic was no longer available 3D printed in the U.S., we've been searching for an alternative. With the sound pod's popularity, we opened up production this year and are excited to share that it's now available again in ceramic in White and Black as well as a special Matte Black with a thicker glaze. They came out beautifully and will double as a home accent piece!
The acoustics between the composite rubber and ceramic versions are very similar. The only difference is a subtle overtone in the ceramic as its finish is glossy versus the composite rubber which is more matte, and for those with keen ears, it usually is just a slight personal preference for one over the other.
The Bheard Sound Pod Ceramic fits all phones including tablet phones. As a speaker, it works best with the latest smartphone models such as the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 5, 5s and Samsung Galaxy S6.
Here's a new video of the sound pod to show its most popular features and uses:
Happy listening and chatting!
The Bsteady Car Mount
was designed as a completely universal mount that secures any phone in any car, so when you upgrade your phone or your car, or rent a car, you can just use the same lightweight and portable mount.
Its shape is elegant and simple to minimize on bulk yet robust and durable enough for everyday use. Starting today, you can back the Bsteady on Kickstarter
to ensure it makes it to market while pre-ordering one for yourself!
If fully backed, the Bsteady will be available in Black, Red, Purple and Blue in a silicone-like rubber composite with just the right balance of flexibility and rigidity.
We've heard such positive feedback from early users so far, so we decided to move forward to the next stage to scale its production. The delivery date will be well ahead of the holidays for anyone looking to gift the Bsteady to friends and family.
Please share or back the project
to give someone you know a safer drive! Your vote of confidence and support will make a big difference in making the product a reality and allowing Bhold to continue to create helpful designs for you!
Update: As of Oct 22nd, the Bsteady is fully funded! Thank you, backers, for your support in bringing the Bsteady Car Mount to market!
Update 2: As of Dec 1st, it's available in the new composite rubber material here and through our partner sites.
This month, Bhold at Maker Faire will be happening on both coasts! Come out and join us for some maker fun.
Seattle Mini Maker Faire
September 19 & 20
This family-friendly festival of invention and creativity offers tech enthusiasts, crafters, homesteaders, scientists, and garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds a public platform to show off their passion projects. Come see all the awesome creations!
World Maker Faire New York
September 26 & 27
New York Hall of Science, Queens
Founder Susan Taing will share her perspectives on "What are the Long Term Effects of 3D Printing and 3D Scanning?" on a panel session with fellow industry speakers on Saturday Sep 26 at 10:30am. The talk will take place on the Make: Live stage in Zone 5.
Simultaneously, Bhold is invited to exhibit with NYC Next Top Makers alongside local NYC makers. You'll find us there from 2-6pm each day.
To apply to be a part of next year's Next Top Makers program, submit here now through October 12th!
We can't wait to meet you all there!
Super excited to announce that Bhold has been selected to join New Museum's first-ever museum incubator NEW INC, a professional development program for creative entrepreneurs working at the intersection of art, design and technology.
Today marks the first day of the second year of NEW INC. As quoted from the program description:
"The incubator is a not-for-profit platform that furthers the Museum’s ongoing commitment to new art and new ideas. NEW INC provides a collaborative space for a highly selective, interdisciplinary community to investigate new ideas and develop a sustainable practice."
Bhold works right at the intersection of design and technology to create more efficient, more responsive and more sustainable product design. Overall we aim to create better product design through rapid prototyping with 3D printing and community testing with our first-of-its-kind Bhold Labs program, a unique approach that ensures the most usable and thoughtful design for our end users. Bhold's goals fit well into NEW INC's mission.
I'm honored and excited to join the NEW INC community as a new resident member. Stay in touch to hear more!
Bhold’s values started out as my own beliefs, life values that I strive to live by. I’d like to share a few of our values and illustrate how they come through in our products and our brand.
Solve interesting problems. Help others.
Of the many problems to solve in our world, I felt that where I could be the most helpful in is creating something beautiful that fixes a problem every day. A little bit every day adds up to a lot over the course of a lifetime. Every Bhold design is inspired by solving a problem in our daily lives.
Be bold and daring. Challenge your limits.
I always remind myself and others that life is short so you must dare to do what you want to do in life. And that’s the most important use of your time. Be patient and smart about it, but go for it! Our boldness comes through in going for our mission despite the odds, and in our logo, where we use thick font and strong colors.
Do something different. Create something new.
It's only meaningful to create Bhold for you all if I could contribute concepts that are unique, useful and better than what already exists. In addition to our name, the thought put into our logo and our imagery also carry this aspirational goal. Our icon is nothing more than a red line over a black background, and the line in between the “b” and the “h” stands for the blank canvas of future designs that are yet to be.
Simplify. Simple is often more difficult than elaborate.
Many of us often get caught up with creating the most complex and elaborate version of something that the world has never seen before, but the more important thing is to think about why we created it. At Bhold, to create objects that you use every day, we believe simple is better. It’s easier to use, keeps only the most essential and saves you time. Every time an iteration of a design gets too complex, I cut, cut, and cut until it’s back to something manageable. And simple does not have to be boring.
Have fun while you’re at it. Live in the moment.
Whether you like to focus on what’s ahead or to reflect back on the past, it helps to remember that the moment that’s happening right now will never happen again. To have no regrets and even to learn, we need to live lightheartedly and playfully. This comes across in the colors and the shapes that I choose for Bhold’s designs. Enjoy!
It's official. The new Bheard Sound Pod is here!
Waterproof, light and portable, take this acoustic speaker anywhere for sound quality that will take you by surprise.
At 0.3 oz, it weighs nothing yet packs a ton of sound for your music, podcasts and speakerphone calls.
You gave us your feedback. We listened. Now, it's ready to entertain and delight you and your guests!
Kickstarter backers, look for your official update here. Thank you for your support!
See our blog post published last week on Maker's Row explaining how the sound pod went from initial concept to final product.
Here are 10 different ways that you can use your sound pod. We love that we continue to hear new use cases. So far, listening to music while you shower has been number one. Feel free to send more to us!
For a glimpse into its product development, check back with us for early prototypes you can download and 3D print.
And be sure to get your very own sound pod here!
Austin, you're next!
We'll be exhibiting as part of NYC Next Top Makers at SXSW Create, a free and open part of the festival that showcases creators and makers from around the world. We're honored to be invited!
SXSW Create will be open from March 13-15, and Bhold will showcase our work from March 14-15. If you'll be in Austin, we hope to see you there!
We're happy to announce the opening of a new web shop on i.materialise, the largest 3D printing facility in the world. You'll find our iconic 3D printed ceramic pieces offered on their site.
Two of our designs, the Bstrong Travel Hook and the Bheard Sound Pod, are now featured on their Shop page!