Throwback to the future.
The internet is having a retro romance with “the world’s first cassette player with Bluetooth 5.0 capability.” Dubbed “IT’S OK,” the fresh take on the classic tech has already exponentially surpassed its $12,826 Kickstarter goal, with over 500 backers pledging more than $48,000 to Hong Kong-based NINM Lab‘s project as of this writing.
The crowdfunding campaign launch coincides with the original Sony Walkman’s 40th birthday on July 1, 1979. (In celebration of the four-decade anniversary, Sony also has a retrospective exhibit on display in Tokyo.)
Despite the nostalgic appeal of the product, NINM’s branding is clearly aimed at younger buyers who may not have lived through the cassette’s original heyday. The short-film-like, two-minute Kickstarter video for IT’S OK features a young person in overalls and a baseball cap listening to vaporwave on their IT’S OK in a filtered, halcyon present.
“Only music can heal me,” reads the screen in the ad, before showing the product.
Yes, it’s a portable tape cassette player, but the IT’S OK also features a headphone jack and speaker, in addition to the Bluetooth tech. It runs on AA batteries, has a transparent case design, open handle and comes in three colors: white, light pink and a dark, slate blue evocative of the original Walkman.