With minimalism a major trend, people are looking for home accessories that pack multiple functions into a small, elegant space. Two new speakers, the UMA Sound Lantern and the Drytunes Bluetooth wireless speaker, fit the bill. Both are appropriate for entertaining inside or out.
The UMA Sound Lantern gets its name from its lighting function. It plays music from any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a phone or computer. The speaker also illuminates its surroundings with soft LED light.
"UMA took over two years of intense research," says co-creator Pablo Pardo. "The most challenging part was achieving a modern, simple distillation of the traditional lantern. In our studio, we love challenges and mixing sound and light sounded like the next evolution of the old lanterns."
Pardo collaborated with designer Carmine Deganello, who is known for his experimental designs. The UMA lantern is made of thermoplastic, aluminum, leather and silicone and uses a lithium battery. It projects sound 360 degrees and has a range of up to 100 feet. The fully charged battery lasts six to eight hours.
"It can be used as a regular light on top of a dinner table or at any social gathering: outdoor parties, at the beach — pretty much anywhere," Pardo says. "It is very versatile."
Manufactured in Louisiana, the Drytunes Bluetooth Wireless Speaker also is suited for outdoor events. It floats on water with the speakers facing upwards and functions even when completely submerged.
"It's the world's first totally waterproof, high-fidelity wireless speaker with internal dry storage," writes Jonathan Maki, director of marketing at Drytunes Waterproof Speakers, in an email. "It's made for the beach, pool, hunting, fishing, camping, kayaking, boating, tubing, tailgating, paddle boarding, snorkeling or any outdoor adventure."
When fully charged, the battery lasts 16 hours and has a wireless range of up to 33 feet. The speaker connects to most Bluetooth-enabled devices and comes with an auxiliary cord that connects to playback devices. The Drytunes speaker also includes 400 cubic inches of waterproof storage space, ideal for storing cameras, phones, keys and more.
While these speakers are designed with the outdoors in mind, Pardo says nature also is where he finds his inspiration.
"Our job as designers is to take examples from nature and understand how something so complex can be so perfectly simple," he says.