Don’t call Cone a speaker. It’s a “thinking music player.”
That, anyway, is how Duncan Lamb, co-founder of Aether, explains his company’s new offering, a conical music-machine that learns your tastes and seamlessly streams the songs you want to hear. It’s a fairly radical reinvention of a familiar gadget–a speaker that relieves you of the responsibility of DJing every song at every step of the way. But it’s also an example of how the internet of things is quickly maturing, proving that clever algorithms and beefy processing power can be combined to make products simpler to use, rather than more complex.
Take a close look at how you listen to music today, and you’ll find that complexity clogging things up at every stage. For all the on-demand ease of subscription services like Spotify and Rdio, you still have to figure out what to listen to. Then you have to account for other sources, like internet radio and podcasts. At some point, you have to figure out how you’re actually going to listen to this stuff in your house. Is it synced to your phone? Is it on your PC? Will the device it’s playing on stream to your living room speakers?