Aether Cone will simplify listening to music, according to the devices creators at San Fransisco start-up Aether Things. Resembling the inner cone of a stereo speaker, the smart speaker links up with any device running iOS7 or Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and plays music from one of several streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. The Cone contains a 3-inch woofer and a dual tweeter set-up run by a 20 watt amplifier so every song sounds good, but the unique feature of the cone is how it presents the songs it plays.
Devoid of all but one button in the center and featuring no LEDs or LCD screens, the Cone is operated by pressing the single button in the center of the speaker grill or spinning the outside edge. Pressing the button will begin playback of music from the users favourite streaming service, but if something plays that doesn’t hold their interest simply spinning the outer edge will change genres or input sources. Where the Aether Cone makes a unique change compared to other players is the smart learning system it employs to build a better playlist every time it gets turned on. As music plays the Cone will keep track of songs that get listened to all the way through and songs that get skipped, so next time the only songs that play are songs the user wants to hear. It even features an accelerometer to track if it gets moved to a different room, and a clock to see what kind of music is preferred at different times of day or night.
The Aether Cone will simplify listening to music with more than just its single button interface. After listening to music with the device for only a matter of days, users can expect to only hear songs they want, and if they continue to dislike the lists the Cone comes up with, they can hold down the center button and speak an artist or track name to hear it right away. The Cone will track these instances as well, of course, to better suit the musical tastes of the user.
Contained in the 6-inch by 6-inch body is an 8-hour lithium-ion battery for free roaming playback wherever there is a wi-fi connection, allowing the user to get comfortable with the Cone wherever their favourite place to listen to music may be. Currently the Cone is only available in a black and brushed copper color scheme, but there are plans to have a white and silver option available when it launches later this year. Work is also underway to have PC and Android connectivity ironed out so everyone can simply enjoy their music again.
Aether Cone will simplify listening to music by taking the grunt work out of setting up the perfect play list, and allow users to just sit back and listen, which really is the idea behind our sophisticated stereo setups anyway. Chief product officer at Aether Duncan Lamb says “our ultimate goal is simple, to make everyday life nicer through beautifully thought out products.”
By Daniel O’Brien