I experimented with a simple layered construction foam model (building on the fly with nothing more than scissors and glue) and was surprised at how effectively the sound could be “bent”. I am no acoustics expert so can’t help you out with the science other than to confirm that sound reflects down the channel and out of the front of the frame. This rough prototype showed that the concept was feasible. The second consideration was the aesthetics – the balance between form and function. Using a 3D Modeling tool allowed multiple iterations before arriving at a final solution without wasting materials and time. An important design aspect was what to do with the SoundFrame when not in use. Designing the frame to have a secondary function as a picture frame provides utility when the iPhone is not present. It also makes a great holder for your iPhone at night if you use your phone as an alarm clock.
I also made a SoundFrame for the iTouch. For this unit I included a slot in the side for the charging cable and inlaid a thin piece of wood to block the top surface of the sound channel to increase volume even more.