Chatting happily over a sumptuous dinner on the balcony, you bask in the warm summer breeze that blows gently past, sipping your wine and enjoying the company of a few special friends. The day is nearing dusk, so you reach over to light a candle and, as you do, soft music magically wafts from the candle holder, adding to the elegant mood. Your friends are impressed, and the evening is a hit. But where did that music come from? It came from Pelty, a Bluetooth-enabled, candle-powered speaker with an inbuilt thermoelectric converter that lets you play music streamed from your phone without the need for batteries or cables.
The idea of a candle-powered speaker came to its inventor, Gianluca Gamba, when he realized that his standard Bluetooth speaker wasn't good enough to provide the music for an elegant dinner he had staged. It was made from tacky-looking plastic, had run out of power and – worst of all – there was no way to charge it. A qualified engineer, Gamba remembered learning about peltier-effect devices that convert heat to electricity by generating a current between two dissimilar metals and, after a good deal of thought and tinkering, Pelty was born 18 months later.
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Taking its name from the peltier-effect device built into it, Pelty creates its power from the heat of a single candle, which is claimed sufficient to produce enough energy to run the built-in Bluetooth speaker unit for up to 5 hours. The speaker used in the prototype is a full range 3 in (7.6 cm) driver, with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms and a power rating of 12 W RMS.
According to the Pelty team, the device is hand-crafted in Italy from ceramic, glass, and timber, and has been launched on Indiegogo. All of the early bird pledge levels have gone, so backers will now need to aim for a black or white Pelty option at US$229.
Various options are available, including personalization of the ceramic portion with an engraving of your name or a short sentence. If all goes to plan, delivery is estimated to begin in November.
The short video below provides some background on Pelty.