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Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

Ammos is a home audio system, playing music through a plane sheet of glass with an innovative identity and the next driver in sustainability in consumer electronics.

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

    Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio - Sustainability Approach

  • Ammos - Crystal Clear Audio - Process

What it does

Ammos is a home audio system which produces music through a sheet of glass. It is built from ecologically sound materials, promotes repairability and product longevity. It tackles sustainability issues in consumer electronics products.

Your inspiration

Consumer electronics pose big sustainability issues, including poor product architecture and glue based indissoluble compounds, which are difficult to repair and recycle. These issues, including planned obsolescence to shorten product life-cycles is what our project tackles. Additionally, current speakers rely on an old principle, using rare-earth elements. Glass is a sustainable material and the main design-element. It is durable, contains secondary materials and can be easily recycled at the end of its life. This is the inspiration for our approach and the main product feature, emphasizing its innovative and sustainable character.

How it works

Ammos produces music by vibrating a thin sheet of glass using actuators. The glass is used to produce mid to high range frequencies from 200 to 20.000 Hz. The actuators are placed invisibly close to the edge of the glass, putting ample force on it. Additionally, to acquire a full spectrum of sound, a small subwoofer in an enclosure caters to the low-frequencies from 20 and 200Hz. The speaker is connectable through WiFi and Bluetooth and has a USB-C, 3,5mm audio jack and a power support as inputs. The user interaction with the speaker evolves around an haptic touch surface on the front panel. This lets the user control the main functions of the speaker through touch gestures on a bamboo surface. Feedback is provided then by a luminous backlit LED matrix, which is located behind the bamboo surface. The product consists of glass, bamboo panels, a sturdy Aluminium frame, ABS for housing parts, natural rubber for seals and Aluminium PCBs for the electronics.

Design process

The aim was to use the core technology of actuators and glass to design a consumer audio product. The project was kicked off with an intensive conceptualization phase, going through several phases of ideation and iterations. In parallel, the acoustic abilities of actuators and glass were tested on prototypes in a sound studio, leading to optimized glass dimension coupled with the actuators. As the need for a subwoofer became clear, various subwoofers, their placement and the respective enclosure size and design was tested. This concluded with a joined audio prototype. On the usability side, different design mockups was built for defining size and shape and to test interaction in real-life. As COVID created difficulties in personal contact, digital prototypes, AR models and online surveys were used for testing interaction and cognitive ergonomics. Following that, the team developed a production ready product architecture with deep integration of FE analysis, sustainability assessment and cutting edge production methods. Also, a fully functional electronics prototype was built, validating the developed electronics architecture. The project was concluded by doing final audio testing within the Netherlands’ only anechoic chamber with a looks like real / works like real prototype.

How it is different

Ammos combines tiny actuators and glass, producing music with humble, yet intriguing tactile interaction, countering large speaker drivers in opaque structures, which current audio products offer. Ammos is designed for longevity through high quality in components and timeless design. Glass, Aluminium, Bamboo and ABS are chosen for durability, user perception quality and because they are ecologically sound and consist of secondary materials. Ammos uses Aluminium PCBs for its electronics. These provide better heat dissipation, durability, recyclability and are non-toxic. Ammos stands for repairability. No glues are used, all fixations can be loosened by a single screwdriver and all electronics are accessible just by removing six screws. This promotes product life cycles, building consumers’ trust and supporting repair culture. It also supports refurbishment at the product‘s end of use. Ammos is a case study for designing sustainable consumer electronic products.

Future plans

Ammos will receive further fine tuning through detailed sound engineering to improve the technology with the aim to make the subwoofer obsolete. User interaction will be refined by conducting larger sample user testing. The product architecture will be streamlined, aiming on less material-use and improved repairability. A business model is being developed with focus on crowdfunding, to build a community of early adopters and raise investments for tooling and production ramp up for a small series production. Ammos will then enter the market with the vision of becoming a leading brand in home audio and sustainable consumer electronics.


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