Blueshift makes Bluetooth speakers that are truly unique: They rock a bamboo shell and are powered by supercapacitors (not batteries) that recharge in five minutes and survive a whopping 500,000 charging cycles.
Now, Blueshift’s looking to spread its wings with a portable speaker, new stereo, mono, and wireless home speakers, and some new accessories, all rocking the same charming design characteristics of the larger model. Blueshift launched a $10,000 Crowd Supply campaign on Tuesday to crowdfund the new additions, hoping to replicate the success of the original Blueshift Helium speaker, which netted $46,000 in a successful crowdfunding campaign in December 2013.
The story behind the story: What stands out about these speakers is their design and Blueshift’s refreshing ethos. The Blueshift speakers use open-source hardware powered by supercapacitors, which store energy through the movement of electrons. This is what allows for the rapid recharge of about five minutes. It’s becoming a popular green technology because it can survive multiple human lifetimes of recharge cycles, and bamboo is also an environmentally friendly design material.
Beyond the supercapacitors, the Portland, Oregon-based Blueshift has open sourced its supercapacitor stereo design in order to assist others that want to build this into their products. “We are not patenting anything,” the company says on its website. “Supercapacitors are an exciting technology, and we don’t want to make them any more obscure than they already are.”
Blueshift Hydrogen and others
The portable Bluetooth speaker, dubbed Blueshift Hydrogen, gets about three hours of playback time—or four hours at 80 percent volume—so it definitely won’t last a whole day at the beach. But that shouldn’t be a problem for most uses considering how fast it recharges. The $330 Blueshift Hydrogen is a bit bigger than, say, the Beats Pill speaker, but it’s still plenty portable at 9-inches by 8-inches by 4-inches and 4 lbs. And the bamboo looks rad. It packs a 3-inch full-range driver.
The company also unveiled some larger speaker models, though they’re pricey. The $440 Helium Mono rocks a single 4-inch Fostex FE126En full-range driver, while the $550 Helium stereo rocks a pair and is dubbed “a hi-fi boombox from the future.” There’s also a $780 “Wireless Stereo Pair” that’s comprised of a Helium Mono and a home speaker that automatically pair over Bluetooth and transform into a stereo setup when they’re in range of each other.
Blueshift’s also introducing two new accessories to go with the new speakers: The $400 Iron subwoofer and a $180 preamp. The preamp lets you use your guitar or turntable with any Blueshift speaker, while the Iron Subwoofer adds sub-100Hz bass to any Blueshift setup with its 8-inch driver and 50 watt Class D amplifier—though if you want to connect the Iron subwoofer to your speakers using Bluetooth it’ll need to be calibrated to do so at the factory.