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Teenage Engineering wraps speaker in ever-white cabinet

The special edition OD-11 retains its whiteness as it ages, and can be safely recycled at the end of its useful life
The special edition OD-11 retains its whiteness as it ages, and can be safely recycled at the end of its useful life
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The special edition OD-11 retains its whiteness as it ages, and can be safely recycled at the end of its useful life
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The special edition OD-11 retains its whiteness as it ages, and can be safely recycled at the end of its useful life

Sweden's Teenage Engineering is arguably best known for its mini synthesizers called Pocket Operators, but has been pushing design envelopes in other areas too. Last year the company toyed with smart speakers and in September of this year revealed an update to the OP-1 from 2011, a music creator called the OP-Z that can also be used to control lighting. Now a collaboration with RISE researchers has yielded a loudspeaker encased in a kind of white wood.

The cabinet material is called holocellulose and was developed by researchers from Sweden's research institute RISE, who controlled the color of the raw material to produce a pure white wood that doesn't need a coat of paint or any chemical additives to achieve its whiteness.

Testing by RISE has shown that it doesn't lose that whiteness over time like, say, paper (which might yellow with age) or a wooden deck exposed to the outdoors (that may fade to gray), which means it will keep its pristine looks throughout its operational life.

Since there are no additives, the cabinet could be safely recycled when it's outgrown its usefulness, perhaps into a completely different form such as transparent film, clothing or a moisturizer, without first needing to remove any hidden nasties.

Within that special cabinet is the heart of Teenage Engineering's OD-11 wireless speaker first released in 2014. The OD-11 is still available to buy, but this one-off edition is not as it was created as a design study only.

Sources: Teenage Engineering, RISE

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