Van der Waals Ferrofluid Speaker
The Van der Waals ferrofluid speaker is a technological wonder that marries audio with art. It’s a spherical audio-visual unit that combines a speaker unit at the back with a clear dome at the front that houses a suspended blob of ferrofluid. The speaker derives its name from the famous Dutch physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals, who developed an equation of state that established the behaviour of gas and liquid molecules.
The purpose of this speaker, as envisioned by its creator Sergey Kuznetsov, was to provide a way to visualize music. The ferrofluid, a magnet in liquid form, is stimulated by magnets creating weird dancing spikes and arms, making the fluid look alive. The speaker’s magnetic drivers agitate the ferrofluid to create a mesmerizing visual that moves with the music. It is as though you can see the music in the physical world, making it a unique experience that is both mesmerizing and intriguing unlike anything else we’ve seen before it looks like the lovechild of an Amazon Echo and a lava lamp.
At approximately 25cm in diameter, the unit is bigger than a football and weighs a substantial 5 kilos. It has a commanding presence that makes it an excellent accent piece for coffee tables, TV units, or even workspaces. The LED backlight built into its ferrofluid chamber adds to the captivating ambience of the speaker, making it perfect to watch at night.
The Kickstarter project lists early-bird prices of $399 (£325) for a single unit, with dual-unit options and limited edition versions at varying prices. Unfortunately, the shipping target of November 2022 has been and gone, and whilst there have been updates on production, there has been no information regarding a new timeline or shipping date – so don’t hold your breath just yet. The usual Kickstarter woes aside though, this thing looks great, and I’d be buzzed to have it in my living room mostly because I’ve always wanted a ferrofluid sculpture to dance for me on command.
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