Sometimes when you’re walking past so much technology at a show like CES you forget to stop and ask yourself, “how is that possible?” I asked that very question when I walked past a small display titled “Soundflow”.
The promise was big: wireless audio from your phone to your speaker system simply by placing the phone on the speaker. The company behind Soundflow – Voxx – owns a range of brands you might be familiar with, including RCA. One product that will launch with Soundflow is an RCA clock radio. With a recommended retail of under $US30 in the USA you probably won’t believe what it can do.
Normally with a speaker, or a HiFi unit you need to pair your devices using Bluetooth or WiFi, after which you can “push” the audio to your speaker from your phone. With Soundflow there is no pairing involved. All you do is place your phone on the Soundflow “soundmat” which is on top of the device (be it a clock radio or a stand alone speaker).
It’s pretty impressive when you first hear it work – turn on the speaker and there is your music playing as if you’ve paired it via Bluetooth.
The concept is rather simple: The music is just sound. Sound is made up of sound waves, which are essentially vibrations, so the “soundmat” is specifically engineered to capture those sound waves and re-transmit them through the speaker of the device. It actually works well.
With the volume pumped up high you start to hear some distortion on the clock radio model I tried, however there was a stand alone speaker on display which seemed to do a much better job at the higher volume.
Unfortunately, RCA products are not destined for Australia just now, but I’m sure in time we’ll see some products using the Soundflow technology to make listening to your music on a speaker in your home that little bit easier.