New from British company View Quest is the Sonicdock, an iPod/iPhone dock with a twist.
In place of the conventional speaker, it uses its 12W internal amplifier to drive a material first developed for US Navy sonar applications, which in turn transmits vibrations to the surface on which the unit stands. Thus your table, desk or shelf becomes the iPod speaker.
The material used is Terfenol-D, placed inside an aluminium case with a 'voice coil' wrapped around it. The company says that when electricity is passed through the coil, 'the Terfenol expands slightly, creating a massive force of 400 pounds.
'When it's attached to a flat surface it transmits electronic signals into mechanical energy, causing the flat surface to vibrate and broadcast the sound.'
The Sonicdock also has a line input for other sources, and will charge the iPod or iPhone when docked.
It's on sale now for £50 at Amazon and Misco.