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Apple’s greatest innovation in recent version of iOS was clearly enabling emoji keyboard support for all iPhone and iPad users, regardless of region. Emojis are fun for everyone, but they could potentially get better thanks to a new Kickstarter project. The TeleSound is an iPhone and Android device accessory that lets users send sound messages, by translating the emojis built into iOS into a corresponding sound and playing it back via a special speaker peripheral.
The TeleSound uses a dedicated app that lets you message your friends, using the emojis provided in iOS. You can line up a series of icons to play back a number of noises in rapid succession, which is likely exactly as irritating as it sounds. The sounds playback via a small speaker that looks like one end of an old-school rotary phone handset, which connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0 (so it’ll only work with later model devices, like the iPhone 4S and up).
The speaker automatically plays back received messages when on and within pairing range (around 30 ft) of your device, and you can simply flip it over to turn it off thanks to an included tilt sensor. Messages received while the speaker isn’t in range or is inactive will be stored for later playback, so you won’t miss a single duck noise or sparkly tinkling sound. Replaying the last received message is as simple as quickly flipping the speaker over and right-side up again in a single gesture.
Project creators Olivier Mével and Marc Chareyron are the founding team behind a Paris-based hardware startup that previously created reaDIYmates, which are roll-your own kits for building Wi-Fi objects that can provide different responses based on input from web-based applications and sources, as well as smartphones. The duo is interested in helping build the next generation of connected devices to fuel the advent of the so-called “Internet of things.”
The team sought only $25,000 for their first project, and are now looking for four times that amount — $100,000 — to fund the creation of the TeleSound. Pre-orders start at the $34 level, which is cheap, but then again this is just a peripheral that makes it possible for your friends and colleagues to yell at you by sending emoticons over the Internet. Still, it has a certain charm, especially when I think about the potential for freaking out my cat from across the world.