Vancouverites crowdfunding for SparkBlocks, a new modular speaker

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Modular products may very well be the next big thing in technology.

For two Vancouverites, it’s all about freedom and customization. Ramtin Bidshahri and Yousef Javaher are the masterminds behind SparkBlocks, a product that takes an innovative approach to traditional speakers.

Friends since high school, the two young entrepreneurs shared a mutual love for good music and clean-sounding speakers. Saheb pursued mechatronic engineering at Simon Fraser University, while Bidshahri studied economics and is currently doing his masters in business at UBC.

After eight months of prototyping, the pair came up with SparkBlocks, a modular speaker system that allows for additional components to be assembled and arranged together.

The prototype currently has eight functioning pieces that can be added on separately, and 20 more in the works. The pieces give the speakers a wide-range of additional abilities, such as Bluetooth, call connector, subwoofer, RCA jack and a vacuum tube amplifier.

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“In the market we’re seeing components go towards modularity because parts are smaller,” explained Bidshahri. “What you can do to give the choice to people to pick what kind of parts they want.”

When it comes to connecting the pieces, Bidshahri said it’s something kind of like Lego.

SparkBlocks can be pieced together in two different ways: wirelessly and physically.
Using a Bluetooth block, parts can interconnect and work in harmony. The pieces can be physically put together using a T-connector made of aluminum, which gives a more mechanical and safe connection.

“If you’re listening to it while you’re camping outdoors you don’t want it to fall apart.”

Bidshahri also said that the product is fully assembled in Vancouver.

Using Kickstarter, the two are to get the product released in the near future. The project goal is to raise $100,000 for the initial startup, with over $35,000 raised so far.

Donations can be made in small or large sizes — whether it’s to see the product enter the market, or pre-purchase the blocks for when they launch.

Websitesparkaudio.ca

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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