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Designed By:Andrius Žemaitis, Marius Paulikas
Commissioned by:BrainMonk
Country by:Lithuania

ELBOW is a portable cassette player reduced to the core. In XXI century, the rise of cheap and convenient digital media has made all physical formats „outdated“, if not altogether extinct. Still, the tactile intimacy of physical formats is dearly missed. That’s the reason behind the resurgence of vinyl, and also motivation behind ELBOW. The audio cassette is not just a medium - it’s a cultural icon. Therefore we feel it should not be obscured inside a device, but brought to the forefront of user’s attention. By exposing the cassette to the elements, ELBOW offers a fresh user experience, allowing the listener to directly appreciate the mechanical motion, or even forcibly interrupt playback. A typical cassette player uses a capstan and a pinch roller to drag the tape along the magnetic head at a constant speed, with additional pulleys rotating the cassette reels to manage the tape. In ELBOW, a single pulley is used to drive the tape. To maintain constant playback rate, tape speed is tracked and used to continuously adjust motor voltage. ELBOW’s most prominent feature is the biaxial arm. It rotates in two directions - upward motion enables the insertion of a cassette, while sideways motion allows to manually switch the playing direction. Playback is controlled by a single wheel – turning left from the initial position activates the motor and increases volume, turning in the opposite direction fast-forwards the cassette. The device has two connections: a standard 3.5mm audio plug, and a mini-USB port for charging and transferring audio to a computer.