Connected Objects Music

Aivvy Q streaming headphones provides the soundtrack to your life even if you lose signal

Streaming services like Spotify helped lay groundwork for the recent influx of new streaming services, including Apple’s upcoming Beats service and Jay Z’s Tidal venture. While on-demand music streaming is great and can conveniently work across a host of devices, most streaming services require an Internet connection to work, sometimes resulting in a subpar listening experience.

Aivvy Q is a wireless Bluetooth headphone set which can provide up to 40 hours of continuous music playback, all without needing an Internet connection. Touted as headphones capable of tapping into the “Internet of Things”, Aivvy Q is essentially a self-learning music player: a user can swipe its side to skip a track, tap to favorite a track, or rotate the channel ring in order to change the genre or playlist. Sensors within the product learn which tracks are preferred, thereby making sure the music being played is always relevant and enjoyable.

Maker/Development Technology

You can 3D-print your OwnFone, but forget about fancy apps

Many people like to express themselves with their clothes. But outside of supporting particular brands or buying a licensed cellphone cover, it’s pretty difficult for people to use cellphones to express themselves in a similar way.

The London-based developer of OwnFone is out to change that by allowing people to 3D-print the phone itself versus just a cover. The company allows consumers to either design the device using its maker’s FoneBuilder App website and let his company make it for them, or design OwnFones themselves at home using the company’s PrintFone Dev Kit.

Don’t expect a lot of fancy-functionality, though. OwnPhone is a voice-only mobile phone that works on a 2G mobile network; the product has already been available in the U.K. since 2012. U.S. consumers can now buy one for about $100, and can select from a version with word buttons, image buttons, a number keypad, Braille buttons, or a few other configurations. OwnFone will ship in the U.S. in July. Its maker is trying to raise £200,000 (~$308,000) by March 21.

There is likely a market for custom-made cellphones such as OwnFone. One large segment that will likely find it appealing is kids. But there are likely many parents who won’t be willing to shell out $100 on a mobile phone for their children. There are also likely many people who will opt to spend $100 on a low-end smartphone than a nice custom-made phone with limited functionality.


Music Technology

Prizm teaches speakers to be in tune with your mood and your friends

The world of streaming music over the past decade has exploded, with dozens of companies offering competing services that all want to be your one and only source for tunes. But with the increase in all this choice, the process of figuring out what to listen to can be an unnecessary obstacle to our enjoyment.

A Parisian company created Prizm to facilitate the process of personalized music curation. The slick product connects to existing speakers through Bluetooth, optical, or a 3.5mm wire, and provides an interface to not only discover new music, but instantly sync your favorites to your playlists with a simple press of a button.

Prizm is clever, too: its contextual approach adapts to not only who is in the room, but the kind of atmosphere as well. If there are just two people present, it combines their tastes and plays a song they both enjoy. If there are 15 people present, the acoustic sensor will recognize the ambient noise and play something more suitable. Compatibility with Spotify, Deezer, and Soundcloud will ensure all users are represented with more services on the way. Interested backers can grab their very own device $129. These ideas have pushed the company towards their $70,000 goal.

The product that most closely resembles Prizm is the Aether Cone, but upon comparison the differences are stark. While the $399 Cone boasts a decent speaker to directly play the music you want, it is more of a streaming radio device. On the other hand, Prizm contains many more features allowing users a lot of personalization– even a friend’s Prizm will recognize who you are and adapt to your taste! This level of personalization and interconnectedness is impressive, even if it may tread very closely to the many privacy concerns up in the air these days.