Just yesterday, we were talking about the plethora of wireless music streamers and speakers—and specifically how Intellegg wanted to put the wires back into whole-house music. Now another company is looking to one-up that wired setup.
Fon just introduced the Gramofon. It’s a music hub that attaches to any existing speaker, so you can stream music to that speaker. That sounds very familiar, but what’s making this product a standout is that this little box doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Gramofon is actually being billed as a cloud music “jukebox,” which uses your smartphone as a remote.
Just connect the Gramofon to your sound system via a 3.5mm jack and then connect the Gramofon to your network. Both Ethernet and Wi-Fi options are available. From there, the Gramofon will show up on your iOS and Android devices as its own network. Connect to that and you can stream music from WahWah radio or Spotify. In other words, you aren’t actually streaming anything that’s stored on your smartphone, tablet and/or computer. It’s all about the cloud. That said, the company does expect to add other services in the near future. It also apparently doesn’t offer any support for high resolution music.
Back to the hotspot thing: Fon says that the Gramofon has the same core technology as the company’s routers, which means it can double as a hotspot in public places. It can also help get a stronger Wi-Fi signal into some of those weaker areas of the home.
Because it has that Wi-Fi goodness, just about anyone can play DJ—sort of. The Gramofon integrates with Facebook, so any of your friends within range can connect without a password. According to Fon, up to 20 people can connect to the Gramofon simultaneously.
Fon is creating buzz (and pre-orders) for the Gramofon through a Kickstarter campaign. To secure your Gramofon, just pledge a minimum of $50 by the May 15 campaign cutoff. (Sorry, the $40 option is already gone!) From there, Fon plans to start shipping the first round of orders in July, with the rest coming by the end of October.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.