Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Radio without controls

Ah, design. When it's great, it enhances our lives and our world. When it's rubbish... well, you wind up with a radio without buttons being pushed as a leap forward:

Developed by Cambridge Consultants and Armour Group PLC, it is due to hit UK shelves in time for Christmas.

Rachel Harker, Business Development Manager for Cambridge Consultants, said: ''We realised that digital radios are difficult to use and you have to be quite techno-savvy to use them.

''We thought wouldn't it be great to have a radio that anyone from a child to your granny could use.

''The Q2 Cube is designed for everyone, not just 'gadgety' people. It's really quite simple.''

Given that current digital radios are quite like ordinary radios, it's not entirely clear where the demand for something less confusing comes from, but let's say there is. How does it work?
With no buttons, knobs or display, you switch to one of four pre-programmed digital radio stations by turning the cube onto the appropriate side.

The stations are selected via an online account on your home computer, and then wirelessly streamed to the cube anywhere in the house.

Users can change the volume of the speaker on the front panel simply by tilting the cube forwards or back.

So it's really simple to use, providing you can handle the bit where you set up the channels originally on your PC and are able to get your wifi, PC and radio to all speak to each other. Which is the bit that usually makes IP radio difficult. Oh, and if you decide you want to listen to something other than one of the four stations, you have to hike back to your computer to make the change. That's really simple, right there, then.

[via @drivelcast]