Startup Creates World’s First Bluetooth Cassette Player

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. unveil / ʌnˈveɪl / (v) – to show or announce something to the public for the first time

    The startup unveiled its plans to expand overseas.

  2. conventional / kənˈvɛn ʃə nl / (adj) – traditional

    Newer car models are often more environmentally friendly than conventional cars.

  3. no stranger to (something) / noʊ ˈstreɪn dʒər tʊ / (idiom) – having previous experience in doing something

    The company has a lot of experience in producing mobile phones, so it’s no stranger to designing portable devices.

  4. cater to (someone/something) / ˈkeɪ tər tu / (phrasal) – to provide what someone/something needs or wants

    This unique toy store caters to people who love playing and collecting board games.

  5. nostalgia / nɒˈstæl dʒə / (n) – the feeling of longing for the past

    Hearing ‘90s music on the radio gives me nostalgia.


Read the text below.

Hong Kong-based startup NINM Lab has unveiled the world’s first Bluetooth cassette player.

The device, called IT’S OK, can do what old cassette players can do: it can play cassette tapes and record audio onto blank tapes through a built-in microphone. But, unlike conventional versions, IT’S OK has Bluetooth 5.0 capability.

This feature allows IT’S OK to be linked to Bluetooth speakers or any compatible wireless headphones. Although, for users who still prefer to use wired headphones, the device also has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. The cassette player is powered by batteries and comes with a blank cassette tape that can accommodate up to 60 minutes of audio.

According to sources, NINM Lab is taking advantage of the rise in cassette sales in recent years. In 2018, cassette sales went up by 19% as people once again take interest in old music formats.

The startup is no stranger to developing technology that caters to people’s nostalgia. Before IT’S OK, the company has also released a camera accessory that lets film cameras instantly print out photographs. This product was inspired by Polaroid cameras, which were popular in past decades. The accessory was released through Kickstarter, a company that helps creators, musicians, and designers launch their craft.

IT’S OK was launched the same way. With the help of Kickstarter, the IT’S OK project gained 840 supporters and raised over $71,000. Supporters can buy it for $63, while others can get it at its regular price of about $90, in either white, pink, or blue. It is still under production until November but is expected to be shipped out worldwide in December.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you buy IT’S OK? Why or why not?
• Why do you think some companies choose to cash in on people’s nostalgia when creating products? Explain.

Discussion B

• What old device would you like companies to recreate? Why?
• What do you think are the pros and cons of recreating old devices? Discuss.

Category : Technology/Innovations