Panasonic Co-develops Wireless Speaker "Kyo-zutsu" with Kaikado, a Long-established Maker of Handmade Tea Caddies

Experiential value that stimulates the five senses and memories brought to life by combining traditional crafts with digital technology

Kyoto, Japan - Panasonic Corporation cocreated "Kyo-zutsu," a palm-sized wireless speaker that brings to life an enriching listening experience with "Kaikado," a long-established maker of handmade tea caddies based in Kyoto. A limited quantity of 100 speakers, which change their expression over time and enable listeners to experience sounds and the vibrations they create with the palm of their hand will go on sale on November 8 at Kaikado, of which 30 were available for preorders on October 5.

Since 2015, Panasonic's home appliance designers and keepers of Kyoto's traditional craftsmanship have been working together on the cocreation project, "Kyoto KADEN Lab." By exploring Japanese sensibilities and origins of design/manufacturing together, they have created a wide range of prototypes, but this is the first time one of the ideas will be transformed into a product. As the project concept "Electronics Meets Crafts:" indicates, Panasonic's digital technology has been exquisitely merged with unique tea caddies handcrafted by Kaikado's meisters to realize an all-new musical experience that stimulate the five senses.

Kyo-zutsu is a handmade tea caddy equipped with a wireless speaker that provides a new experience for users, enabling them to feel the vibrations of sounds with the palm of their hand. Taking advantage of the extreme airtightness of Kaikado's tea caddies, the speakers turn ON/OFF when the lid is opened or closed. So, like the aroma of the tea leaves that wafts out, the music begins when the lid is opened, and when the lid is closed, the lid closes slowly, coaxed by gravity, elegantly fading out the music. Users can enjoy a very enriching moment with this beautiful masterpiece, which exudes the Japanese sensibility of cherishing objects. The brass exterior has a very smooth texture and changes its expression over time. The more you come in contact with it, the more it will shine, thus transforming into one-of-a-kind gem with time.

Panasonic will continue to bring to market new home appliances that provide unique experiences and enrich people's lives.

Background

To help enrich lives in the future, to create home appliances that blend into people's lives, Panasonic home appliances design division aspired to combine the "spirit" of Japanese traditional crafts - dignified stature, graciousness, elegant mannerism, exquisite craftsmanship, the desire and commitment to bequeath the tradition to future generations - with state-of-the-art technology. That is why in 2015, Panasonic launched the "Kyoto KADEN Lab." through which Panasonic and the traditional industry are working together to cocreate new home appliances. Many of the prototypes developed through this project has been highly acclaimed in Japan and across the world, winning the Best Story Telling Award at Milano Salone 2017 and the Gold Award at the iF Design Award 2018. Among these prototypes, Kyo-zutsu received the greatest interest which lead to its market launch.

Features

  1. An all-new experience - feeling the vibrations of sounds with the palm of your hand

    To bring to life the concept, experiential values that stimulate the five senses and memories, Panasonic and Kaikado created this wireless speaker, which enable users to not only hear with their ears, but also feel the music with the palm of their hands. Kaikado created the original tea caddy from a thick sheet of brass with exceptional craftsmanship, and Panasonic developed wireless speakers that create the optimal vibration and sound utilizing the audio technology and know-how it has cultivated to date, and the speaker's location within the caddy was adjusted to 0.1mm. Kaikado's traditional craftsmanship honed over the years and Panasonic's manufacturing technology realizes a comforting sound quality and vibrations that can be felt by the palm of the hand without any unnecessary noise.

  2. The music spreads like the aroma of tea leaves thanks to the airtightness of tea caddies unique to Kaikado

    Taking advantage of the extreme airtightness of Kaikado's tea caddies, like the aroma of the tea leaves that wafts out of the caddy, the music begins when the lid is opened, and when the lid is closed by aligning the seam on the body and lid, the lid closes slowly, coaxed by gravity, elegantly fading out the music. Opening and closing the lid together expresses music in a whole new way. The main unit is equipped with an original audio source developed specific for the Kyo-zutsu, and once the speakers are unwrapped, turned on, the lid opened for the first time, you can immediately enjoy music, much like a music box. Great care has also been taken with respect to audio quality. Panasonic's proprietary DSP (Digital Signal Processor) reproduces a broad spectrum of sounds from low to high that is comfortable and easy on the ears. The bass reflex port enhances low frequency sounds, and the diffuser at the top of the speaker transmits the sound across a wide area.

    *When in Bluetooth® mode, users can listen to music from Bluetooth® compatible devices on this speaker wirelessly.

  3. The expression of the brass exterior changes with time

    Because the amber color of the smooth texture and the beautiful sheen of the brass caddy deepens gradually with each touch, users will become more and more attached to it as time passes. The base of the main unit is covered in leather, allowing users to enjoy the changes in the texture of the leather as well. Moreover, you can charge the speaker by simply placing the speaker on top of the accompanying contactless charger. You no longer have to bother plugging it in to charge, and you have a beautiful exterior without any connecting terminals. The charger, too, is made of brass and leather, giving the speaker a dignified stature even while charging.

  4. The change in the expression of the brass over time

    Kyo-zutsu and its charger

About Kaikado

Since its foundation in 1875, Kaikado has continued to create tea caddies for over a century all the while believing that there is beauty in simplicity and functionality.

Products: (Copper, tin, brass) tea caddies, coffee caddies, pasta caddies, etc.
President: Sixth generation, Takahiro Yagi
Address: 84-1 Umeminato-cho, Rokujo-higashiiru, Kawaramachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, 600-8127
Homepage: https://www.kaikado.jp/english/

About product

  • Product name: Wireless speaker system
  • Product number: SC-KKL01
  • Suggested retail price (Tax exclusive): 300,000 yen
  • Release date: November 8, 2019
  • Units available: 100 units available only at Kaikado

Specifications

Speaker
Format: 1 way 1 speaker, bass reflex

Input
DC IN: ✓ (charger)

Bluetooth®
Version: Bluetooth® Ver 4.2
Output: Class 2
Profile: A2DP (not compatible with SCMS-T), AVRCP
Compatible codec: AAC, SBC
Transmission method: 2.4 GHz Band FH-SS
Transmission distance: Approx. 10 m

System
General power supply:
- Main unit: Built-in battery: DC 3.6 V (750 mAh) Ni-MH battery
- Charger: USB micro B, DC 5 V
Size:
- Main unit: φ80 mm × 91.5 mm
- Charger: φ80 mm × 13.5 mm
Weight:
- Main unit: Approx. 500 g
- Charger: Approx. 110 g

Note
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Panasonic Corporation is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

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Photos

Wireless speaker system SC-KKL01 "Kyo-zutsu"

Panasonic's digital technology has been exquisitely merged with unique tea caddies handcrafted by Kaikado's meisters to realize an all-new musical experience that stimulate the five senses.

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