Especially, when you think of turning a disposable cup holder into a speaker for your smartphone! However, its neither anywhere closer to a Bluetooth speaker, nor an electronic thingamajig to amplify sound, yet it magically works as an amplifier, increasing sound from your inserted phone’s speakers by well over 100 per cent.
How it all started?
It all started like this. A group of Canadian friends went out to have a roaring beach party but found the prime stimulation missing – music and the beat, as none had brought the speakers. That’s when McDonald’s caught the idea and introduced the limited edition Boombox, an innovative device based on a recyclable drink tray that could double as a handy and useful speaker/amplifier, providing fun for all. Fancy customers ordering Big Mac, fries and McFlurries at the Woodbine Beach McDonald’s in Toronto and getting cup holders that fold open into boombox speakers for their smartphones! But the saddest part of the whole story is that the event is already over since the limited edition of McDonald’s Boombox has expired on July 28, 2017. However, if the demand rises appreciably, McDonald may reintroduce Boombox at other franchises all over the world.
Result of collaboration
While McDonald’s Boombox was the result of collaboration with the University of Waterloo’s Audio Research Group and Stacklab, the real secret behind the sound amplification was the 10-sided cone design that opened up at the bottom of the cup holder, along with the use of sound reflective material.
Said Janelle Resch, PhD candidate and entrepreneur at the University of Waterloo at the Boombox’s promo video, “When we altered the shape of the cones of the MCBoombox, the difference in sound levels was 50%. But when we used the reflective material, we gained another 43%. And that’s precisely how when you insert your phone, the sound level increases by 101%.
What others are doing?
If you are amazed at what McDonald’s have done, away from their field of functioning, see what other global food franchisers have achieved in similar fields.
KFC has built a Bluetooth keyboard into tray liners
For those who enjoy munching down greasy goodies that include fries and at the same instant touching their smartphones to check text messages and turning them greasy too in the process, KFC (Kentucky Fried chicken) has solved the problem by introducing the KFC Tray Typer in a smart way.
As part of an ad campaign for KFC Germany, the Tray Typer was given out to customers at a newly opened restaurant in lieu of the characteristic paper tray liners that form a part of these trays. With a Bluetooth connection and built-in keys, the keyboard made it easier for customers to type out Tweets, Facebook messages, texts and more, though there doesn’t appear to be a trackpad built-in, so the Tray Typer doesn’t completely do away with touching your phone while eating. Yet, somehow it serves the purpose well.
In order to thwart competition and reign supreme in their own arena of selling fast food on a global scale, fast food franchisers seem hell-bent upon inventing newer marketing skills, seeking help from whatever source available. While McDonald’s collaborated with University of Waterloo’s Audio Research group and Stacklab, KFC sought other sources.