Corks are usually used for sealing the contents of bottles and small jars, but the Plugg radio employs them for turning itself on or off.
It might seem unusual, but the idea makes perfect sense. After all, the idiom “Put a cork in it!” is a way of telling someone to shut up. The Plugg radio, which can be easily turned off by using a cork Norwegian design duo Theo Tveterås and Lars Marcus Vedeler. This is yet another thing that makes perfect sense. Norwegian designers, and Scandinavians, in general, seem to have a thing for gadgets with a very simplistic design that does not sacrifice functionality at all.
To create the Plugg radio, the two Norwegian designers used a 3D printer, some hacked electronics and lasers for cutting.
According to the designers of the Plugg radio, the device is supposed to provide users a far more intuitive experience than buttons or switches that turn it on or off. As far as I am concerned, I could not agree more. The only thing I am concerned about is the quality of the sound, given the small dimensions of the speakers.
It is rather incredible that the designers had to use so many tools to create something that small and simple. I guess this shows how dedicated they are in what they do and just how much attention they pay to every single detail.
The following image presents some more details from the preliminary stages. The vernier caliper must have been used for measuring accurately the dimensions of the gadget. The electrical scheme provides some details as to what components were used.
Next, there is the Plugg radio along with a cork that fits perfectly in it. If the designers ever decide to mass produce this gadget, they had better make sure they have spare corks in stock.
To stop the sound coming out of the Plugg radio’s speaker, all that the users have to do is put the cork in it.
To turn it on again, the users have to remove the cork. I am not sure how the radio stations are changed, or whether the tuner works in both the AM and FM bands. I suppose that speakers could also be designed in this way, without the radio functionality. After all, not a lot of people listen to the radio anymore, as many prefer to have their preferred music played on MP3 players and smartphone docs.