When a teenager, I used to lay down on a carpet at home, get two large floor standing speakers and place each around my head to intensify my listening sensation. Getting each speaker closer to my ears maximized their impact, but the improvement was not worth such trouble! As an adult, I never forgot the drive to feel more from music. When I worked with audio systems, my free time was dedicated to invent systems to make me feel more intense sensations, especially using audio and lights.
Over the last five years, I became almost obsessed with a dream: the creation of QiQ, a high-end portable speaker system to deliver more intense sensations than any other existing portable speaker. The main idea was to find ways to get QiQ in physical contact with the listener to deliver haptics while taking advantage of a scientific fact: human ears are better fit to listen to higher frequencies like voices and cymbals, while their upper thorax, or chest, is better fit to feel sensations from the impact of lower frequencies such as thundering drums.
No Head Touching
My first idea was to create a natural, immersive experience when seated, for computer users and gamers. I also had to keep in mind that absolutely no head touching should happen because of irritability and other important reasons. Finally, when prototypes were ready, demonstrations were performed in our office chair. QiQ was so intense and immersive that not only gamers, but everyone was amazed by its performance. That indeed was great, but what about feeling the same intense sensations while walking?
Brainstorming ideas resulted in jackets, belts, straps, and other options that worked, but were dismissed because they did not quite meet what I hoped to give with QiQ. I travelled with QiQ inside my backpack to several places and many times across continents, but QiQ was always powered off. One day, I was enjoying QiQ blasting in my living room when an idea just clicked! Oh My God! In a craze, I paused the music and quickly fitted QiQ into my backpack. I was in such a hurry, I forgot the volume was really loud. When I pressed play, what happened next was totally unexpected. In seconds, I went from surprised to intimidated and then to shocked, so much that I didn’t even think of lowering the volume, I just took it off.
As the adrenaline surge wore off and my heart slowed down, I became curious. Craving for more, I turned QiQ right back on to test other experiences. Watching a movie on a tablet - something I usually do only for convenience, became an unforgettable experience. I was totally immersed and drawn into the movie dimension, similar to one of the best movie theater experiences I’ve had, but in my own home. The intensity of the sensations were so strikingly impressive that ideas to create a QiQ custom backpack to further enhance the experience flooded my mind.
Before going any further, it was crucial to determine if other speakers out there played as well as QiQ in the same backpack. It took a while for me to actually test for this because if any speaker delivered a sensation close to the one from QiQ, it would mean extremely bad news for me at this stage. Looking for the possibility of bad news is not something I enjoy that much, if you know what I mean. But I had to do it and better sooner than later. The day came when I got some of the best portable speakers in the market fitted into a backpack. I was a bit anxious, but, Phew! I felt not only relieved, but happy to realize that the other speakers performed exactly in the opposite way! They all sounded awfully muffled and definitely unacceptable to any listener. QiQ became the first portable speaker that can deliver the most intense and immersive lifelike performance for your music, video or game playing.