Amplio is a bamboo smartphone amplifier with a retro radio-chic look, and a feature very few smartphone amplifiers (or is it none?) can boast: it requires no electricity nor batteries to function. Simply dock your smartphone into the Amplio and...voilà: effective, efficient and portable amplification ensues. How exactly does it do this? Amplio's interior is shaped like a cone (much like a regular speaker). The sound travels from the phone's speakers down to the tip of the cone where it is then transmitted through the rest of the device, creating a stereo effect.
The idea behind Amplio is to help us cut down on the amount of electronic devices in our lives. With the average lifecycle of electronic devices getting shorter, electronic waste, or e-waste, is posing a growing threat to our environment. Our thirst for ever-new mobile phones and the latest electronic gadgets is creating mountains of the stuff and, according to UNEP, e-waste is now "the fastest growing waste stream in the world."
In the US, the Environment Protection Agency has found that some three and half million tonnes of electronics were generated in 2012 alone. Although initiatives to recycle or repair electronic gadgets are becoming more common, e-waste still amasses mainly in landfills, where materials contained in devices (such as mercury) can leak out into surrounding soils and enter waterways.
Made of one ingredient alone, sustainable bamboo, and with a very low ecological footprint throughout its potentially very long life, Amplio does not add to the problem of e-waste. Designed by Flio, a Dutch design company specialised in creating products with low or no negative environmental impacts, it has no settings, buttons or cables. As far as user-friendliness goes, amplifiers don't get any simpler than this. Nor any greener.
Amplio requires no energy to function, apart of course from the energy to power up your smartphone. It is compact, sturdy and durable and therefore easy to carry around. Although the Amplio may not be suited for large open or crowded spaces, it makes a perfectly adequate amplifier to use during those everyday moments, such as while cooking, doing chores, reading, having dinner, and it could certainly be a great companion to all shower singers.