Imagine true Star Wars fans who happen to be sound-enthusiast specialized in developing speaker technology for over 15 years. Yes, they create the highest-quality bluetooth speakers in the shape of two of the most loved Star Wars characters, everybody’s favourite protocol droid, C-3PO and the Galactic Empire’s ground-force, the Stormtrooper.
Moulded with 48 different components, every detail of the Stormtrooper helmet looks and feels real. The highest grade plastic used to inject into the moulds gives the finished items a more tactile feel and solid appearance. C-3PO gets a metallic finish, making you believe you’ve got the real C-3PO right with you. And probably the coolest thing about, the speakers even use iconic Star Wars phrases. When paired with a smartphone or tablet, C-3PO drops the famous line from Return of the Jedi, “I do believe they think I am some sort of god”.
After getting the licensing approval from Lucasfilm and Disney some deep-pocketed investors called to make up for the funds needed to bring the project to life. Prices for the speakers range from affordable $149 to $499 for the limited edition. Check out the interview with the speaker’s developer Kelvyn Gardner and get your speakers on www.acworldwide.cool.
Whom do you look up to?
I admire anyone who creates something from scratch, whether that’s a work of art or a commercial product for sale. For me, personally, the ultimate creative outlet is music. I was never good enough to be a professional musician ( though I’m a keen amateur guitarist ) but creating our speakers allows me to work in the world of sound.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
My French and Spanish teacher at school, Ron Phillips, inspired my love of languages. I added Italian later and currently study Japanese. Languages opened up the world for me, and definitely facilitated my business career.
How did the production process start, like – when or how did you come up with the idea?
I ran into some old friends whom I had not seen for more than ten years. They were looking at high-end speaker production whilst I was immersed in the world of licensing, working on brands like Transformers, Doctor Who, and Star Wars. In the classic way we decided we could combine the two and so started developing our Star Wars speakers.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced or are still facing during your project?
Star Wars fans ( and we count ourselves among them ) are fanatical in their demand for authenticity, and the brand’s custodian, Lucasfilm, is equally exacting in only wanting truly innovative products designed and made to very high standards. Getting this right required us to create our own CADs ( Computer Aided Designs ) from scratch in order to develop the most accurate models possible. This process took almost nine months to perfect.
How would you describe yourself/ your personal style in one sentence?
In business I’m known for my colourful clothing, and I guess I’m a laid-back kind of guy who is not easily offended, but who’s always determined to get the job done.
Do you have a favourite quote/motto that describes what you truly believe in?
The best is the enemy of the good.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Many people answer this kind of question by saying something like ‘just do it’. I agree, but if you can spare 5% of your creative brain to work out how you can earn a living from your creativity, it will go a long way to help you actually achieve your goals
Is there anything for which you would give up your passion of creating?
Coming from the north of England I am a passionate fan of Rugby League and my home town club, Warrington. Not sure I could give up creative work altogether, but I would love to have been good enough to be a professional rugby player, which involves another form of creativity, of course.