The quest for dynamic ambience\n\n\n\n\u201cWe\u2019re not wired to live in confined spaces with fixed ambiences,\u201d says Vlad Iorgulescu, founder and designer at Oupio. \u201cAmbience should be dynamic and respond to our human needs \u2013 so it can have a positive influence on our mood, health and wellbeing.\u201d\n\n\n\n\u201cAnd while current technologies offer a vast array of functionality, they also create a vast array of clutter. So we also need hybrid products, with mixed functionality, that merge tech with interior design principles and, as a result, seamlessly integrate into any home environment.\u201d\n\n\n\n\u201cCompanies such as Google call the application of these notions \u2018neuroaesthetics\u2019. We prefer to call it good design,\u201d says Vlad.\n\n\n\nIn other words: our living spaces need an update.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nNo more landfill\n\n\n\n\u201cAs a product designer, I saw a lot of products that fall under the category \u2018future landfill materials\u2019,\u201d says Vlad. \u201cBut when we began talking to customers about our design and engineering consultancy Creative Pill, we realized it\u2019s a shared desire to build things that last \u2013 both in their function and their aesthetic.\u201d\n\n\n\nWith a background in architecture, Vlad decided to apply this philosophy to product design. Building a small dedicated global team of designers, engineers and audio\/electronics specialists, he set out to design a hybrid product that could define a room\u2019s ambience. Oupio was born.\n\n\n\nThe resulting spherical object has a diameter of 22 centimetres. Crafted from oak, ash or cork wood, white opal glass and anodized aluminium, Oupio is also highly versatile as it can be installed anywhere, whether as a pendant or desk lamp.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nOwn less\n\n\n\nMore than anything else, sound and light define a room\u2019s ambience. \u201cYes, air quality is another important factor, and early prototypes did actually include sensors. But then we decided to keep things simple,\u201d chuckles Vlad.\n\n\n\nIn fact, fully integrating sound with light is not simple at all: \u201cThey don\u2019t like being together in the same small space. For example, the LED drivers create noise and the LEDs themselves generate a lot of heat that we needed to dissipate so it would not interfere with the sound.\u201d\n\n\n\nSuch challenges explain why somewhat similar existing products on the market are not true hybrids but merely \u2018glue\u2019 together different functions into one object. With the glass lamp shade doubling as the actual acoustic chamber, Oupio is a true hybrid.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDo more\n\n\n\n\u2018Human-centric lighting\u2019 is a term that is gaining traction. Scientific studies have shown that the moon\u2019s white light boosts productivity, while sunset yellows boost melatonin production for a restful night's sleep.\n\n\n\nBy using twenty 1-watt LEDs, Oupio covers the full spectrum of natural sunlight (2,700K to 6,000K). \u201cIf the Indiegogo campaign is particularly successful we hope, as a stretch goal, to apply RGB LEDs for the initial production run \u2013 so by flickering these, we can, for example, simulate fireplace lighting,\u201d says Vlad.\n\n\n\nHowever, current functionality is already impressive: producing up to 2,000 lumens makes it perfect for a modest living room or a large bedroom. With the LEDs designed for a lifetime of at least 10,000 hours, you\u2019ll never have to change a lightbulb again.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nGroove more\n\n\n\nAudiophiles will be particularly impressed by the many interesting tech and design choices made by the Oupio team.\n\n\n\nUsing the patented Balance Mode Radiator technology from sound innovators Tectonic Audio Labs, which ensures the sound is distributed evenly throughout a room.\n\n\n\nMusic streaming is done via Bluetooth or audio cable, while Oupio\u2019s various functions can be controlled via the intuitive touch interface. Groups of up to five units can be made via a dedicated low-latency WiFi network.\n\n\n\nFund and purchase via Indiegogo\n\n\n\nOn 26 June 2019, Oupio launched their 30-day Indiegogo campaign \u2013 complete with special rewards and heavily discounted rates. The company seeks to raise 50,000 \u20ac to realize the first production run. The first Oupio\u2019s are scheduled for shipment in July 2020.