For years, the Consumer Electronics Show has been giving music lovers a sneak peek at all the new ways that technology can change their listening experience. This year’s CES was no different. A wide variety of companies, from household names to bold newcomers, were on hand at CES 2014 to announce new music players. From what we’ve seen, music as we know it is never going to be the same.
The hot theme at this year’s show is integrating music into other devices that are not strictly music players. This idea builds on the growing trend of the “Internet of Things”, where devices have the ability to connect with and build upon each other. At CES two years ago, a refrigerator that could stream music from Pandora was widely ridiculed. Behind the principle behind the streaming refrigerator was sound, even if the execution may have been a little off.
“The streaming refrigerator was an example of one of those gadgets that proves to be visionary, even if they don’t catch on themselves,” said entrepreneur Jason Hope. “We may not need streaming music every time we go to make a sandwich, but at least that refrigerator got us thinking about what might be possible with integrating music into other devices. The idea itself may have been a little quirky, but two years later, we can see that there was definitely a kernel of foresight there.”
A lot of the most impressive music players released at CES this year were actually cars. Audi announced a new Smart Display Android tablet, included in the base price of a new car, that allows passengers complete control over the entertainment system inside the vehicle. This new tablet will allow passengers to control navigation, and will soon offer connectivity to a number of Android apps.
Ford, who’s Sync driver-interface system has received mixed reviews from drivers so far, announced a series of new apps at CES, aimed to make Sync more exciting and user-friendly. The announcement that’s of the most concern for music lovers is a music app called Habu. Ford promises that the app will allow drivers to select music based on their moods at the time. Feeling happy and excited? The app can find the music you need to go along with that mood.
Finally, Volvo announced a new system for their cars that would allow users to stream Pandora through an onboard antenna and 3G modem. This is the first time drivers will be able to stream Pandora directly through their vehicles, instead of having to rely on a phone app that would route the music through a Bluetooth connection to the car’s speakers. This new development will allow drivers to take advantage of streaming without having to use their phone’s data plan.
Music is an important part of life for many fitness enthusiasts, and there were a lot of fitness tech announcements to get excited about at CES 2014. RunPhones allow runners to hide their headphones in a moisture-wicking headband. The company also claims that the headphones are designed for a safer exercise experience, as they don’t completely block out external sounds, allowing runners to keep tabs of what’s going on around them.
There were also plenty of interesting speakers on display at CES. The Fugoo Tough speaker is a Bluetooth speaker aimed at those who are tough on their electronics. The company claims its speakers are “dust-proof, shock-proof and water-proof”, making them the perfect accompaniment for music lovers who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors.
“With so much new technology on display, it’s clear that right now is a great time to be a music lover,” said Mr. Hope. “Now, all you have to worry about is finding the music you want to listen to!”
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About Author: Amy Taylor is a technology and business writer. Amy began her career as a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona. She has taken that knowledge and experience and brought that to her unique writing capabilities. She really enjoys new business related issues that are tied directly to technology.