From a concrete speaker to wearable robots that double as fashion accessories, these tricked-out gadgets are united by a decidedly forward-thinking spirit. Each object was selected exclusively from The List, the destination for all things Surface-approved.
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1. MA770 speaker, Master & Dynamic
Architect David Adjaye designed this wireless speaker using a specially developed concrete composite—a material that yields both excellent dampening properties (which keep it from vibrating), and a fluid, geometric shape. Its removable stainless-steel grill holds two four-inch woven Kevlar long-throw woofers and a one-and-a-half-inch titanium tweeter that pump out rich, intricate sound.
2. Beovision 14 Ultra HD TV, Bang & Olufsen
Featuring a antireflection glass front, oak detailing, and aluminum frame, this television packs a three-way speaker set with a powerful bass and can connect to extra wired or wireless speakers. It can be mounted three ways: on the floor, the wall, or a motorized floor stand, which enables the device to turn toward viewers when switched on.
3. Braun stereo, Joe Doucet x Partners
This pared-down sound system, created by designer Joe Doucet as part of a conceptual series of appliances for Braun, was featured in the London Design Museum’s 2009 retrospective of Dieter Rams as an example of his lasting impact on contemporary makers.
4. Playbase wireless speaker, Sonos
A sibling of Sonos’s Playbar soundbar, this low-profile rectangle of a home theater system fits between the TV and its stand, supporting up to 77 pounds. When you’re not watching the boob tube, use it to stream music over WiFi and indulge in the device’s powerful output: think surround sound, but emanating from a single speaker.
5. Kino on-body robots, MIT Media Lab
A speculative research prototype by a team from MIT Media Lab, Stanford Mechanical Engineering, and the Royal College of Art, these pint-sized wearable robots are intended to be scaled down and seamlessly integrated into clothing. In their current state, the tiny bots can etch patterns into fabric, act as shape-shifting jewelry, and trigger clothing to adapt to weather changes—like folding down the hood of a jacket after detecting a temperature increase.