A Master's design student from Germany has developed a concept for the audio speaker that might just hint at how the product will look in the future. In a word, it's flat.

"My motivation for this project started with an intense research around the lifecycle of consumer electronics," says industrial designer Hannes Harms. That research resulted in the development of an everyday piece of consumer electronics, made entirely with flat materials and printable components.

To that end the flat boombox mounts an extremely thin (translucent, in fact) flat speaker component onto a 0.5 mm (0.02 in) thick pre-cut sheet of stainless steel.

The idea is that the flat boombox could be shipped in an envelope and then bent into shape by the user using lines scored on the flat sheet. With sensible packaging, this makes for extremely efficient shipping.

The ultra-narrow form factor is helped by a flat battery (in the sense of its shape, not its charge) and a copper ink antenna.

The flat boombox project formed part of Harms' Master's studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Harms told Gizmag that development of the product continues, and talks with developers of flat electronic components are ongoing. Given their interests in flat speak technology, one wonders if conversations with the Fraunhofer Institute or Warwick Audio Technologies are on the cards.

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