Ingenious design often anticipates needs we do not even know we have – the telephone was scoffed at initially, and the electric bulb (now a cultural symbol of bright new ideas) was at first an absurd proposition. So try fitting this into your mental socket: someday soon we might not even use the light fixtures we know and love.

In preparation for this possibility, one designer submitted an idea to MintSelect for a next-generation, music-playing bulb to replace our incandescents of old. It slots in the same spot and screws into place just like its once-innovative predecessor would, but fills rooms with soft sounds rather than harsh fluorescent light.

If it sounds somewhat far-fetched, consider how many light sockets you have in your home – from overhead ceiling lighting to floor, table and desk lamps. As LED and other artificial (as well as natural architectural) lighting technologies evolve, these are becoming less and less used – and devices like this provide a chance to repurpose and upcycle them. Meanwhile, audio players are anything but obsolete as people seek ever more complete, built-in surround-sound systems, of which these could become an integral part. Maybe one day we will reach for a replacement speaker set rather than a fresh light bulb.