You know why people still listen to the radio? Some of them enjoy a steady diet of de-virginized Disney stars, but most just want to listen to music without the hassle of actively DJing. And that's the basic idea behind the Aether Cone wireless speaker. Twist the bezel around the speaker's front edge and the Cone starts playing...well, something. No need to sync up your phone, launch an app, or agonize over which of your 214 playlists to fire up. Cone just plays. And learns.
Tucked inside the Cone is an eight-hour battery, Wi-Fi, and a brain. Turn on the Cone, and it’ll play a podcast, an Internet radio station, maybe music from your streaming service of choice (Aether hasn't specified yet, but think Spotify, Rdio, etc.). Don't like what you hear? Twist the bezel a little, and the Cone skips to something new but similar (say, from Kanye to Chance the Rapper); spin the bezel like a roulette wheel and it'll play something radically different (goodbye Kanye, hello This American Life). The Cone remembers what you listen to, and what you skip. It supposedly learns when and even whereyou listen—that you like news podcasts in the morning in the kitchen and Stevie Wonder on Sunday afternoons in the living room. In other words, the Cone is essentially something you’ve probably never heard: a radio that actually plays what you like.
Pre-order the Aether Cone (due out later this summer) for $399 at aether.com.