Electronics are monochromatic. They’re the natural color of buffed metal, an always-fashionable black powder coat, or any Skittles flavor that you can mix into an injection mold of painted plastic.
But the Sonos Bluenote Play: 1–the company’s first limited-edition speaker–commemorates 75 years of jazz with a body painted in a gradient of blue. It starts at a dark navy on top and brightens to cerulean at the bottom. It’s a play on the blue note itself, the harmonic dissonance at the core of jazz.
This sort of gradient has been fashionable in hair–work done at the boutique level–but you haven’t seen much of it in the world of factory assembly and industrial design. One reason is that gradients are tougher to mass-produce than single colors. Sonos applies the various shades of blue using a robot with seven spray nozzles and hand-painting.
Just 4,100 units will be sold. They’re available for $250 in the coming weeks.