These speakers stack like legos and communicate ‘like a hive’

These speakers stack like legos and communicate 'like a hive'

Image: sound dimension 

Smart speakers are invading our homes — but they don’t all necessarily produce quality sound. 

The Swedish audio company Sound Dimension is interested in producing quality audio, although you can’t (yet) ask their speakers what the weather might be like tomorrow, as you can a Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo. These speakers, called Soundots, can be reconfigured into different arrangements like legos, and are now on show at the 2018 CES tech conference. They communicate with each other like “members of a community or hive,” said Sound Dimension CEO Fredrik Gunnarsson.

I asked Gunnarsson why someone might want to buy or use Soundots, when smart speakers from the likes of Google and Amazon are all the rage (Google recently announced the sale of 6 million Home Mini speakers since October). 

“Their main reason is sound quality, but also sound experience for the user,” said Gunnarsson. “That might not be on the top agenda for other [companies]. “You can have three units and be able to use them in a variety ways.”

Image: sound dimension 

Right now, the music can be streamed to the speakers using Bluetooth devices or plugged in directly with an auxiliary cable. 

The speakers, explained Gunnarsson, communicate with each other by connecting though holes on the side of the speakers — similar to stacking legos together. “They all relate to each other, understand how large the configuration is, and they make decisions based on it,” said Gunnarrson. 

Technically, a whopping 65,000 of these $290 speakers can be stacked together, but most (rational) users will probably choose to stack them in two- or three-piece configurations. 

The benefit of this mobility, notes Gunnarrson, is that the portable speakers can be deployed in different ways for various situations around a single home. You can stack them horizontally for optimal audio for film watching or take one out while hiking, and then later bring it back to its “hive” community. 

Image: sound dimension 

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Author:Mark Kaufman

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