There’s no shortage of wireless speakers out there. In fact, you can make any speaker wireless if you’re creative enough. But what about a speaker that offers you a constant shuffle… and learns your tastes as you play music through it?
A Speaker Without The Stereo
The Cone is a surprisingly simple device, once you set it up. You use your computer to configure music services and the like, and then you simply turn it on to start playing music. As a song comes up, you can turn the grille of the Cone to the right to skip to the next song, turn it left to repeat the song, or turn it all the way to the right to pick an entirely new song.
All of this is completely out of your control; it’s essentially a gigantic iPod Shuffle on your desk.
That’s not all it tracks, either. As the Cone pays attention to your music choices, it also looks carefully at the time of day you ask for specific types of music, and whether that changes as time goes on. For example, if you hit the dial until you find some high energy pop to kick off your morning, and keep doing that during the week, it’ll remember you want that pop. This makes up, a little, for what’s pretty much a total lack of control over what the Cone actually picks to play back for you, which admittedly also means you might be fiddling with the Cone a lot.
The Cone is undeniably an interesting idea, albeit one that seems like it’s not for everybody. Still, it seems like something that will have a lot of use in the public sphere; it can definitely do more for your local coffeehouse than swapping in employee iPods. Or at least rule out hearing the Germs, no matter how great they are, at 7am.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.