Aivia slaps a touchscreen on a slanted wi-fi speaker


Hugh Behroozy is obsessive about symmetry — a lot in order that they wished his firm’s identify is even symmetric.

And that’s why the Aivia, a combo subwoofer/speaker, is slanted — so it is going to match seamlessly in opposition to a wall and never jut out due to a charging cable. The speaker additionally has a display constructed into it, which can appear to be an odd determination to make for a startup. However Behroozy and president Martin Balcerzak are having a bet speaker like that can nonetheless be greatest with a touchscreen management and be differentiated from the remainder of the huge wi-fi speaker market.

“There are a lot of startup companies that can take major risks where bigger corporations can’t do that,” Behroozy mentioned. “They have a lot of stages to go through to get those approvals. It’s very risky for a big company to add a screen like they haven’t in the last 10 years. They do whats worked for them. For us its more about innovation — bringing something new to the market completely, changing the way people think about tech. People think about a speaker just producing sound, now we’re saying no, it can produce sound and control your home.”

Aivia the speaker, which they’re planning to ship this 12 months after an Indiegogo marketing campaign, at CES 2017. It places out greater than 35 watts of energy, and has a battery lifetime of as much as eight hours, Balcerzak mentioned. So, whenever you would possibly go on a tenting journey, you may let your children watch an episode of a present in a tent after which take it out to play music the subsequent day. At the least, that’s the hope, he mentioned.

aivia back

Aivia can also be betting that having an open platform that’s versatile — it’s constructed on Android — will appeal to builders who may need to work inside closed ecosystems with particular software program pointers, Balcerzak mentioned. So resort chains, for instance, might create a customized expertise for potential friends that will create a brand new technique to convey individuals in.

Aivia doesn’t but have a price ticket, however the firm is making an attempt to maintain it down as little as attainable. Balcerzak mentioned they’re hoping to get one thing within the $200 to $300 worth vary — which might attempt to open it as much as as many shoppers as attainable. Even when it means they don’t find yourself making that a lot cash (or shedding for some time), getting that set up base is essential as a result of Aivia can determine what customers are truly doing with the speaker.

There’s clearly a ton of competitors right here, particularly with linked speaker programs like Sonos and different wi-fi audio system that connect with your telephone. And the display might sound slightly a lot — and even pointless — as a result of you may management all of this along with your smartphone or along with your voice when you have an Amazon Echo. However it doesn’t appear to a whole unfavourable to have a display there simply in case, even when many of the management nonetheless comes from voice or a smartphone.

It’s additionally going to be a problem for Aivia as individuals appear to be extra open to sacrificing high quality in some areas — like sound constancy for wi-fi earbuds — in alternate for extra novel or simpler use instances. Having a kitchen-sink strategy could, ultimately, utterly bomb, and the prospects of constructing from a crowdfunding marketing campaign can rapidly flip a venture into vaporware. Or, for Balcerzak, it is likely to be novel sufficient that it’ll spark some curiosity and get issues off the bottom.

“We were founded in January 2015, we went into Best Buy and couldn’t find a combination of various tech incorporated in one device, an all in one,” Balcerzak mentioned. “Why have three devices combined into one. We found the wireless portable speaker market hasn’t changed in the last ten years. Maybe there’s a slight angle change, but there’s no huge game changer. That’s what we’ve done here. We want something that sets us apart from all the competition out there.”


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Désiré LeSage


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