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Turn Your Old iPhone Into A New, Braun-Inspired Radio

In a new body, a used-up iPhone becomes a brand-new radio.

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Your old iPhone might not run the latest apps or hold a charge all day, but it’s still an amazing little machine, capable of upgrading almost any appliance in your home, if only there was a way to make that happen.

The iReadyO radio ($83), a new Kickstarter project by the Korean design studio PlusD, is more or less built upon this philosophy. It’s essentially a big, dumb iPhone case, with a white body inspired by Dieter Rams’s midcentury designs for Braun (most specifically, the Braun TP1). But slip in your iPhone, and it becomes a cloud-connected music player with physical controls, an extra battery, and a decent speaker.

Many of these upgrades are purely mechanical. The iReadyO’s big volume buttons are just levers that hit the iPhone’s volume buttons, for instance. And that’s a small enough thing to beg the question: Why is it different than any iPhone dock you’ve ever known?

Maybe it’s not. You’re still plugging your phone into a system that amplifies its sound, after all. But the presentation makes the experience is different and new. Through little more than a new case, an old iPhone can become a boombox–a dumb tank of a speaker that can be set on the shelf or brought to a beach. And maybe more importantly, an old iPhone can become something that doesn’t feel like an old iPhone. It can be put to use again.

Buy it here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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