McDonald’s latest invention answers a question literally no one was asking: could we turn these cup holders into speakers for our phones? Well, for a limited time, if you can make it to a McDonald's in Ashridges Bay, Toronto, you’ll get just that: a cup holder with a folding boombox speaker.
The speaker is a celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the invention of the McFlurry, which, like most good and decent things in society, were invented in Canada. The invention is the result of a partnership between the fast food restaurant, the University of Waterloo’s Audio Research Group, and STACKLAB, who set out to find a way to recycle a cup holder into speakers. The result is what more than one person calls a McBoombox during a promotional video (the same video is quick to correct them by stating that "the official name is the 'McDonald's Boombox'" in fine print, which, let's face it, is a much worse name than McBoombox).
While you might think speakers made out of cardboard would be, for lack of a better word, trash, these snazzy speakers, which look like sleeves that fit around the traditional cup holders, promise to amplify the music coming out of a smartphone by as much as 101 percent. It works because of its unique 10-sided cone design, which helps to reflect the sound emitted from your smartphone speakers.
"When we changed the shape of the cones of the McBoombox, the difference in sound levels was 50 percent," says Janelle Resch, PhD candidate and entrepreneur at the University of Waterloo. "When we used the reflective material, you increase the sound level by 43 percent. Inserting your phone increases the sound level by 101 percent."
If all this talk has been getting you excited for a Big Mac with amplified sounds, be warned that they will only be distributed from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. ET at one McDonald’s location on July 28. But who knows! Maybe if we all @ McDonald’s on all forms of social media and whine enough, they might bring this invention to other restaurant locations in the future. Until then, though, you’ll just have to keep using a cup, or, you know, actually buy some speakers.