iPad dock in the shape of an old television

This enchanting retro iPad dock was created by Jonas Damon of Frog design.

"A product's form used to be dictated by its mechanical function," writes Damon. "Products had distinctive shapes largely because the composition of the internal components mandated a certain form. But, as mechanics are being replaced by microchips, these constraints are disappearing. Designers have more opportunity with form now ; ergonomics and expression no longer need compromising."

Does it bear pointing out that this creative freedom is only available so long as you make the gadget larger and more unwieldy than it normally is? Or that such ingenuity is relatively easy to implement as a dock, where the functionality doesn't extend to interaction with the machine being housed. If the TV had similarly old-fashioned controls, for example, which controlled the iPad, a more profound connection would exist between mechanical function and creative opportunity: consider DS-Labs's physical oldschool knobs for iPad.

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