If only we had more mountains in the UK, we’d probably have a thriving tech industry. In America, you see, most innovative thinking happens during high-speed mountain-bike descents into Silicon Valley.
J Allard dreamt up Xbox on the Valley slopes, and it’s also where two guys called Greg came up with the idea for a portable speaker that delivers a proper sound – unlike most of the systems on the market.
The result of the Gregs’ downhill brainwave is the aluminium tube above, which clicks open to reveal two speakers and a long sub-woofer. Plug in your MP3 or CD player and it produces a warm, rich sound that, at 40W, is loud enough to scare the living daylights out of passing strangers. Which may be why J Allard is currently lying in a bush 2000 ft above Palo Alto, while we’re still waiting for our Xbox 360.
A built-in rechargeable battery and solid build quality mean the Boom Tube is a heavy affair, so it’s fortunate that it comes with its own tubular over-the-shoulder carry case. But our favourite feature is the This Is Spinal Tap homage – the volume dial goes to eleven in case you need 'that extra push over the cliff.'
The company behind the Boom Tube, ThinkOutside, was also responsible for the Stowaway folding keyboard for palmtops – one of the most jaw-dropping products of the past five years. It’s good to see the company on a roll again.
The Boom Tube's on sale for £140 in December from www.widget.co.uk