How it started
A brief history
It all started one day when my son suggested I could hear a conference call on my cell phone better if I put it in a bowl. Sure enough, that helped. I started researching sound and built cell phone dock with a small cardboard horn.
Fast forward a couple of years and my buddy John and I were building boomboxes experimenting with the fine art of acoustics. We came up with a 2.1 channel (left, right, subwoofer speakers) box that really sounded great.
We wanted to preserve the retro look of boomboxes from the ’80s and ’90s’. It seems that “Everything Old is Cool Again”. Think back to radio and TV consoles from the mid 20th century that were built of solid wood and proudly displayed in the living room.
Mike Mac – Founder
We are motivated to bring quality sound with ease of use and privacy to everyone
How they got smart
We sold a couple and noticed some people had difficulty playing music with aux cables, USB drives, bluetooth, cell phone music apps, etc. Wouldn’t it be cool to just tell the boombox what music to play? For boomboxes to understand you, they would have to become smart!
So we added a System on a Chip (SoC), i.e. a small computer. The software to process human speech is very complex. It is only because of free software, or “open source”, that the boombox is able to understand you and do what you asked. The GNU/Linux operating system is the heart of the system – because of its premise of freedom, it is the most widely used operating system on the planet. The voice software on-board is “an open and private voice assistant”. If you use it, all questions or requests are answered or acted upon, then the text you spoke is immediately deleted. You can opt-in to have it saved, but the big corporations selling voice assistants cannot claim that. With their products, you have to opt-out to have your speech erased. Do you want their products listening in your bedroom?
But wait, there’s more?
Once you have a small computer in your boombox, you can do more than play music. If you want it to be a regular old computer, all you need is to do is add a keyboard, mouse and monitor. There is a browser and complete desktop built in!
So is it a Smart boombox, or a general purpose computer with really great sound? Your choice.
The latest progress …
We have a prototype, but it is not yet a “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP). Hopefully there will be one soon. – update – shooting for Jan 2, 2022.
We are leaning towards making kits available for you to build. Would you be interested in doing some gluing, clamping and soldering? Let us know …
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Built of hardwood, plywood, and top shelf components in NY
Many products are available to fit your needs, from DIY to completely built
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