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Orée Pebble 2

I've always greatly preferred functionality over aesthetic design. I don't mean for that to be snarky. Of course everyone wants functionality in their devices, but just look at the success of Apple to get an idea of how many people want pretty, shiny things. Apple's devices look beautiful and the appeal certainly isn't lost on me, but I'll take the ugly grey box that does the job just slightly better any day of the week.

After seeing Orée's new Pebble 2, I may have to revisit that policy.

Orée is the company responsible for a handful of wood and leather accessories, such as the Orée 2 keyboard and the Wooden Touch Slab, a multi touch trackpad. We're talking actual, functional devices that are made of beautiful maple and walnut. Now, they're headed to Kickstarter with their newest product: the Orée Pebble 2 wireless charger.

The Pebble 2 -- no apparent relation to the Pebble Smartwatch -- is an induction charging base for smartphones and it also features a built-in 360 degree Bluetooth speaker and microphone. True to Orée's beautiful form, the Pebble 2 is available in two models: one made of premium wood (French walnut or tilia) and one made of white Carrare marble. The charger is Qi compatible, which means it can charge a wide variety of phones. For those that aren't compatible, Orée does make a wireless power sleeve.

Orée is charging (no pun intended) $250 for the wood version and $300 for the marble version, both of which can be pre-ordered on their Kickstarter page. Check out the press release and video below for more information.

Full Press Release »

Orée launches Pebble 2 
The world’s first wireless smartphone charger in wood or marble with a built-in 360° Bluetooth speaker and microphone on Kickstarter

Orée – inventor of the iconic wooden keyboard and trackpad - extends its line of unique objects with the Pebble 2. The Pebble 2 is the world’s first induction charging base for smartphones combined with a 360° Bluetooth speaker and microphone, built into a single block of artisanally crafted premium wood (French walnut or tilia) or white Carrare marble. The Orée Pebble 2 will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter from 14 May 2014.

Just place your phone on the Pebble 2 and let the magic happen: The elegant and sleek device charges your smartphone, syncs instantly to the integrated audio system and lets you listen to music and take phone calls in hands-free-mode thanks to its inbuilt speaker and microphone.

The wireless charging device is Qi compatible, the standard charging technology for induction. The Pebble 2 works with all mobiles which are equipped with Qi such as the Google Nexus 4 & 5, the Nokia Lumia and the Samsung Galaxy S4 & S5. 

For smartphones which are not yet equipped with the standard Qi-technology like iPhones, Orée has invented the Wireless Power Sleeve for iPhone 5 & 5S, a charging case crafted with vegetable tanned leather and premium wood that offers elegant protection for the phone and enables wireless charging on the Pebble 2.

The Pebble 2 is artisanally crafted using the finest natural materials and the very best electronics (a 5W loudspeaker with a bass reflex chamber built into the material, a CSR chipset with 3D surround sound optimization, background noise and echo cancellation algorithms…) Like all of  Orée’s creations, each Pebble 2 is designed, manufactured and hand-finished in Orée’s workshop in southern France.

The Pebble 2 is available in premium wood (French walnut or tilia) or white Carrare marble.

Retail price: $250 wood version,  $300 marble version.