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The Boomin' System
January 6, 2003 4:56 AM   Subscribe

Introducing the FPS Personal Backpack Audio System: With Sound This Fresh, Who Needs Headphones? A Japanese loudspeaker company specializing in flat panel technology has released a backpack that allows "music fans on the go ... to crank up the volume and express themselves in a whole new way." [more]
posted by Irontom (30 comments total)

 
From the press release: "Whereas traditional speakers produce their best sound directly in front of the speaker, flat panel speakers emit the sound at an even 360-degree angle, delivering optimum sound even when listeners are on the side or behind the speakers..."

Great. Now the people who think I like to listen to their music at bone-rattling volume have a way to inflict it on me that I cannot escape by rolling up my windows. I can't wait for my first ride on the DC Metro with a dozen of these things competing for space in the station (think big hall lined by concrete and ceramic tile) - I've got this mental picture of Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Jay-Z, Eminem, 2Pac and Ja Rule on one side of the station and Britney, Christina, the Dixie Chicks and Justin Timberlake on the other. Throw in a couple of dyed-in-the-wool Tori Amos fans, and we've got pure sonic bliss for everyone in the station.

This is gonna be huge!! How long do you think it will be before somebody provides me with a soundtrack of their favorite tunes on a hike?
posted by Irontom at 4:56 AM on January 6, 2003


Let's start a pool to predict how long till the first homicide is caused by this thing on a crowded subway: I say 3 weeks.
posted by PenDevil at 5:00 AM on January 6, 2003


There, see?! The terrorists have already won! I'll do anything they want if they'll just prevent this thing from coming to market.
posted by rocketpup at 5:11 AM on January 6, 2003


Just imagine, you're on a 5 day hike through a national park, everywhere around you is nature. Birds are singing, bears are growling and fresh salmon is prepared for a nice little campfire. You and your loved one are enjoying a romantic lunch under a giant tree that has stood there for hundreds of years, slowly you can see deer, curious but not afraid, coming towards you. You think of all the stress you left behind, and decide life can't get any better.

All of a sudden you can see fear in the eyes of the deer, birds are flying up from the trees, your loved one pulls out the knife that was packed 'to spread the butter on our own baked bread'. What's happening? Has the world collapsed? Fear and terror spread as a loud noise resembling an alien invasion comes near. It must be bad, perhaps an earthquake or forrest fire?

In the miliseconds after you've decided to commit suicide just to avoid this terror, but before death arrives you see the horrible, gruesome thruth: It's an FPS Sound backpack, destroying peace and quite where it goes.
posted by sebas at 5:39 AM on January 6, 2003


The first time one of these bothers me I'm going to break it.
posted by Hall at 5:53 AM on January 6, 2003


One word: Breakdancing.
posted by GrahamVM at 6:23 AM on January 6, 2003


so i bet you guys just can't wait to get one for yourselves, right?
posted by chrisege at 6:55 AM on January 6, 2003


Let's start a pool to predict how long till the first homicide is caused by this thing on a crowded subway: I say 3 weeks.

Remember boom-boxes of the early 80's? With people carrying them on one shoulder with the speaker in their ear. Or when the transistor radio first came out, samething in a way. You would see folks carrying them at the beach or any where else going mobile by foot.

I would be too embarrassed to play my music for all to hear, loud. But it is nice as you have one less thing to pack.

I looked yet did not see any photos on this product, did I miss it, or them?
posted by thomcatspike at 6:56 AM on January 6, 2003


Remember boom-boxes of the early 80's? With people carrying them on one shoulder with the speaker in their ear. Or when the transistor radio first came out, samething in a way. You would see folks carrying them at the beach or any where else going mobile by foot.
Luckily these items are no longer cool to the YOT (youth-of-today). Unfortunately, this vest, being made from novel technology, if it also features cutting-edge design, might bring back the cool factor for this manner of annoying device. Headphones which seem engineered to project more sound outwards than they are to contribute to the wearer's deafness (defness?) are bad enough.

The latest generation mobile phones with their bad-ass ringers and mp3-playing capacity are thankfully too expensive for many teenagers. Hopefully this vest will cost a lot too and I won't have to spend extra time in jail for assaulting a minor if I ever catch anybody wearing one.

Incidentally, a friend of mine had a Michael Jakson Thriller era-type vest that he dug up in a thrift store while in college. This vest featured a small pair of speakers and a pocket for a personal stereo which he proudly wore around campus on a few occasions. It was pretty damn nice.
posted by rocketpup at 7:07 AM on January 6, 2003


I already pre-ordered one, so I can hook my phone up to it. Now everyone on the train will be able to listen to both sides of my converstations. I love new technologies.
posted by sebas at 7:08 AM on January 6, 2003


Should be nice and light weight, seeing as how it's made entirely from vapor.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:25 AM on January 6, 2003


'Forget filling backpacks with books, workout gear or laptops. Today's savvy trendsetters are filling their backpacks with a fresh, new sound.'

Yo Daddio! Can't wait to get 'down' with 'the kids' on 'the street'.

Its getting harder to keep listening to the tunes in my head *sigh*
posted by i_cola at 7:51 AM on January 6, 2003


"Public use of any portable music system is a virtually guaranteed indicator of sociopathic tendencies."
-- Zoso
posted by spazzm at 7:59 AM on January 6, 2003


Is there any difference from this product?
posted by pekar wood at 8:15 AM on January 6, 2003


...besides the awesome backpack innovation, of course.
posted by pekar wood at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2003


Seriously though, has anyone actually heard any flat speakers that sound really good? I've heard quite a few but they all suck on lows and mids.

Then again, I am prepared to be surprised, since I've seen the tiniest of earbuds produce mind-blowing bass, and tiny cube speakers produce as much racket as big Jamos.
posted by wackybrit at 8:23 AM on January 6, 2003


For me, the point is not the quality of the sound. Beating me over the head with your tunes, regardless of the midtones, is the problem.
posted by Irontom at 8:45 AM on January 6, 2003


Eastsport has a version of the same product; I saw it at WalMart two days ago. Probably not as good quality, but cheap enough to let anyone "share" their music with you.

From this page: "Speaker Backpack by "EASTSPORT" Connect your MP3 or CD player to this cool-looking backpack and you're wired to go. The unit includes a CD organizer, two speakers, and an amplifier for great stereo sound."
posted by ArsncHeart at 8:54 AM on January 6, 2003


Does this vest stop bullets too?

'Cause I think it's gonna need to.
posted by Poagao at 9:09 AM on January 6, 2003


Numerous experiments around the world have shown violence/grafitti/vandalism have gone down in areas when classical music has been piped in, primarily because roudy 14 year olds don't like to stick around it.

Perhaps if you put some Strauss on your backpack you can keep those pesky kids away when you go out.
posted by wackybrit at 9:14 AM on January 6, 2003


Good idea. I'm getting myself a backpack and some Gordon Lightfoot cds. See how the kids like that.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2003


Introducing the FPS Personal Backpack Audio System...

FPS, eh? How much ammo does that hold for my Rocket Launcher?

(hides from the Pun police)
posted by thanotopsis at 10:02 AM on January 6, 2003


Expressing yourself used to mean painting a picture, composing a song or writing a short story. Now it means dyeing your hair an unnatural color, getting tattooed or pierced, wearing deliberately ugly clothes and playing your radio too loud.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2003


wow, we're a bunch of old codgers here, eh?

i think the potential to do interesting things with this technology far outweighs the ability to annoy.

and anyone who thinks boomboxes have disappeared is wrong -- they might have disappeared among the "YOT" in the suburbs, but trust me, folks living in the city still carry them around and play them (even at 3am, outside my window). it's annoying, yes, but also comforting, in a way. another sound of the city.
posted by fishfucker at 10:09 AM on January 6, 2003


In the miliseconds after you've decided to commit suicide just to avoid this terror, but before death arrives you see the horrible, gruesome thruth: It's an FPS Sound backpack, destroying peace and quite where it goes.

You ever been back packing where it is crowded? Folks love to holler in the woods and mountains. Or ever hear a bear growl, please...so what's the difference.

Or been fishing and someone throws a rock in the water, kerrplunk...

PSS, we go fishing with a little boom box all the time, I'm sure the fish hear it but we catch fish. It's never too loud, the game warden might catch us instead.

PS. I'm almost thinking now to post a FPP on how our youth are being robbed of what older folks have been doing too at the same age. why?, because it annoys them now. Like this.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2003


the backpack will be needed to carry all those D cell batteries...
posted by johnny vagabond at 11:52 AM on January 6, 2003


K2 has a similar one too, and it is very cool (the site doesn't do it justice). Think... if you like to ski all day on your own, or bike long distances. They say headphones are bad when doing personal sports, because they completely drown out surrounding noises. But these small speakers allow the listener to hear their choice of music, etc., and still (theoretically) be conscious of their surroundings.
posted by valval22 at 1:19 PM on January 6, 2003


i remember my friend in high school used to do this, he called it the porta-party. he just threw some pc speakers with batteries into a backpack with a cd player and cranked it up around school, listening to annoying speed techno remixes of 80's songs.
we talked about taking it hiking and listening to nature sounds with it, or better yet, sounds of industry.
he always talked about products that were his idea first, so maybe this time they really did steal an idea from him.
posted by klik99 at 5:07 PM on January 6, 2003


Interesting pretentious work of performance art..

1. Go to the mountains, play New York City noises.
2. Go to New York City, play countryside noises.
3. ???
4. PROFIT!!
posted by wackybrit at 9:10 PM on January 6, 2003


"You ever been back packing where it is crowded?"

Er, no. In my world, the very definition of backpacking excludes crowds. There are few people willing to hump thirty-five pounds of gear six to ten hours a day for several days, just to reach a secluded mountain field, glacier, or peak.

Worst I've ever encountered have been like-minded masochistic couples. We all tend to camp far apart, and we're all so pooped we're asleep by nightfall.

Why would anyone backpack where it's crowded? Might as well go to the mall if that's the case...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 AM on January 7, 2003


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