Alice Wang’s Audio Sticks
We’re always wondering, what does the future hold for personal and home audio? What will consumer packaged music look like even just a few years from now? With the advent of perpendicular storage, NAS systems, cheap flash memory, and increasing political and legal issues regarding ownership and piracy, the answer is not simple. Alice Wang, a product design major and native of both Taipei and London, explains her vision in her latest project called Audio Sticks. Wang envisions a future where artists will release their albums on USB flash memory keys, each holding 70 MB of data. Due to their compact size, the Audio Sticks will be more portable than the compact discs we use today and there will much less materials wasted on packaging. The artist claims that mix tapes are no longer being produced and the portability of the Audio Sticks will convince friends and family from combining their music into a sort of primitive mix tape. This would all come together nicely if every home was equipped with a storage and playing device whose mock up looks like a slender and tall, wood paneled, giant USB hub. The concept of Audio Sticks is certainly intriguing and answers some questions about the future of audio interaction in our culture, while raising a few of its own. I think it’s time we see something like this in the market place!