Janus Friis has launched a new hardware startup called Aether

Posted Mar 4, 2014

Janus Friis, known as being a co-founder of companies like Skype, Rdio, Joost, and KaZaa, is launching a new hardware startup called Aether. Aether used to be known as The Morse Project. Aether is a 6.3-inch megaphone-like wireless music player called Cone. You can operate the device using a dial, your voice and an app.

Cone is going to sell for $399 and will be available starting in the summer of 2014 and a wider rollout is expected to happen later. The devices are being sold directly from Aether’s website with plans to expand into other retail channels.

Cone streams music from Internet radio stations and other sources. Rdio will be one of the early integrations in the hardware product. One of the co-founders in Aether is Duncan Lamb, who worked with Friis at Skype. Cone has voice recognition software powered by Nuance

Aether is expected to be a “thinking” music player and learns through algorithms. Cone learns what you like to listen to and starts to apply customized selections.

Here are the specs of Cone:
Height: 6.3 in
Width: 6.3 in
Length: 6 in
Weight: 2.9 lbs

Built-in rechargeable Lithium ion battery
8 hours of continuous playback

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz)

Any device running iOS 7+ or Mac OSX 10.9+ ?Mavericks?

3? woofer plus dual tweeter design for natural stereo envelopment
SNR Signal-to-noise ratio 106 dB (A-weighted, f = 1 kHz, maximum power at THD < 1%)
ARM Cortex?-A9 1GHz processor
32 bit floating point processing
Power efficient design using advanced class-D amplifier with up to 90% efficiency

Fully digital I2S 2,1 channel 20w audio amplifier
Low-power, three-axis, micromachined accelerometer with 14 bits of resolution
Dynamically changing LED light ring with variable luminosity

[Source: TechCrunch]