The Cone is more than just an elegantly designed speaker, it's an intelligent connected music streaming system that becomes smarter the more you use it.
Turn the dial that surrounds the speaker's front and music will start playing, and if it's the right sort of tune, Cone will continue to serve up similar tracks. If, however, it's way off track, turn the dial again like tuning in a radio and it will try something different -- the more the dial is turned, the more different it will be. Or, failing that, press and hold the speaker's center button and tell it exactly what to cue up.
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The system delves into the user's existing digital music library but also connects to a host of music streaming services and uses them as a starting point for getting to know its owner. But over time, as patterns and routines emerge, Cone will know what to serve up on which day of the week and at what time of the day.
And, thanks to an accelerometer, the wireless speaker knows when it's been moved from one location to another and will adjust its output to suit -- quieter indoors and louder outdoors, for instance.
The speaker becomes smarter the more you use it. (AFP photo)
Developed by San Francisco company Aether, Cone has an eight-hour battery life and uses both AirPlay and wifi for wireless music streaming. The device is ready to pre-order now for $399 ahead of its official launch in May. However, there's one catch. For now, at least, it is only compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS7 or with a Mac notebook or desktop running the latest operating system -- Mavericks.
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Cone will also come with a supporting smartphone app for those who want to use it as a simple wireless speaker.