Interview: Matteo Panini, maker of iXoost iPhone docking station
A dock that is made from car exhaust parts! Yes, that is what a high-end, out of this world docking station for iPhone looks like. Taking stellar motivation from the inspirational designs of the most exotic sports cars, Matteo Panini has collection of some of the most impressive mobile docking stations thus far. He calls them “iXoost” which sounds like “exhaust” and very apt for the design. We got the chance to get one-on-one with Matteo Panini, and dig deep as to what iXoost really is, and how it came into existence.
DamnGeeky: Tell us something about your professional background?
Matteo Panini: I did University economics study, but my secondary school was in Maranello at Ferrari Institute.
DamnGeeky: How did the idea of making iXoost strike you?
Matteo Panini: I was called by a friend to give advice about some F1 drive simulator, and I told him that it was better for me to build something like a real car, with two exhaust like speakers. From this idea I thought to realize a dock that has acoustic chamber made from real F1 exhaust. After that I filed patent pending application on this idea.
DamnGeeky: What sets iXoost apart from other available docking stations for iPhone and iPod?
Matteo Panini: First of all, it is the most unique dock in the world that is made with from original racing car parts. Secondly, it is totally customized by the customer, and then of-course it comes from Modena.
DamnGeeky: iXoost has been targeted for high-end customers, any specific reason for that?
Matteo Panini: Because it is handmade, and secondly, we use all the suppliers that work in F1 world. iXOOST is not an audio dock, it is piece of art that if switched off, is also beautiful in any case.
DamnGeeky: Everything you make, seems to be inspired by the exhaust, why is that?
Matteo Panini: Because is very simple to connect the engine sound to the music sound, and then everybody is not able to produce sound docks, but iXoost is a new concept that nobody did before in the market
DamnGeeky: What kind of problems did you face in conceptualizing and designing iXoost dock?
Matteo Panini: One the biggest problem was to connect the Apple technology and all the sound parts together. We did a lot of testing, thanks to the company that are inside the HiFi audio business. We did three prototypes before we made the final version, and all this period was more than 1 year.
DamnGeeky: Is buying iXoost a way to own a rare piece of automotive component?
Matteo Panini: Yes correct.
DamnGeeky: iXoost is indeed, a collector’s item. Any comment?
Matteo Panini: I don’t think so. Collectors want original parts, and not the parts that are modified to play music, but when our customers buy iXoost they want something different. To buy the Zeppelin or B&O is usual, but to buy an iXoost you must be different.
DamnGeeky: Why not design docking stations for mobile devices other than Apple?
Matteo Panini: Because of the design, there is no better choice than Apple iPhone
DamnGeeky: How has Mirco Pecorari inspired you to make such a unique docking station?
Matteo Panini: Mirco is a designer who likes mechanical things, and is definitely not a home designer. iXOOST is for automotive enthusiasts and Mirco did a great job in designing the docking station.
DamnGeeky: You give your clients the option to customize their own iXoost, any instance where a client had very demanding design requirements?
Matteo Panini: The end-customer can decide to customize the dock, but we have no limits. At the moment all the docks that we’ve made have been made differently and fulfilled the requirements of customers.
DamnGeeky: How do you manage to fuse emotions of sound and automotive engineering in iXoost?
Matteo Panini: Thanks to the exhaust that is the most important thing in this dock. We are not a Hi-Fi company, and believe that only the car exhaust is enough to produce ear-pleasing music.
DamnGeeky: How do you imbibe craftsmanship of Modena and technical precision required to build supercars in your handmade designs?
Matteo Panini: Because it is a mix between company that produce at high quality product but in low quantity. We want the best and nothing made in China. Found another company that use F1 suppliers in the world to fabricated audio dock
DamnGeeky: How much does iXoost weigh on an average? Do you ship outside Italy?
Matteo Panini: Around 20-25 kilos. We do sell outside Italy, and yes, we also ship around the world including Russia and US.
DamnGeeky: When not tinkering around with technology, what is your favorite pass time activity?
Matteo Panini: I love watching triathlon in my free time.