How Sonos Used Clever Software Engineering To Make A $50 Gadget Obsolete

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Sonos Bridge gets the boot for a simplified setup
Sonos Bridge gets the boot for a simplified setup

It’s not often that a company announces that they’ve figured out a way to make people stop paying for a piece of hardware by purposely making it obsolete, but that’s just what Sonos has done.

Sonos has just announced that thanks to clever programming, they have figured out a way to make their $50 Sonos Bridge device — a gadget that plugs into your router to allows you to stream music in perfect sync to the Sonos speakers throughout your house — completely obsolete.

7 Awesome Companies Apple Should Buy After Missing The Boat On Oculus

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Apple is heading toward a $1 trillion market cap. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC
Apple is heading toward a $1 trillion market cap. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC

When Facebook snapped up virtual-reality company Oculus VR this week, it got us wondering what other interesting startups Apple might want to buy before Mark Zuckerberg can get his hands on them.

While Oculus is most well known for its Rift gaming headset, Zuckerberg sees a far more wide-ranging application for the company’s VR tech, envisioning it as a futuristic communications platform. “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” he said in his post about the acquisition.

That’s the kind of big thinking Steve Jobs brought to the table when he talked about the way the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad would change the way people interact with technology. While Apple rarely dips into its $150 billion cash hoard to buy other hardware firms, here are seven awesome companies whose technology could help Cupertino enhance and improve its existing devices — as well as build entirely new ones.

Sonos Sub’s Shape Was Designed By The Public

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Imagine if Jony Ive let customers design Apple products
Imagine if Jony Ive let customers design Apple products.

Some people complain – quite wrongly – that Apple’s design team is there solely to fight with the engineers. The thinking goes that Jony Ive spends his days doodling beautiful, thin boxes with no ports, and the engineering team then argues to get things like screens, batteries and data ports put back in.

Utter nonsense, of course, but at Sonos, it appears that this is just the way things work: The shape of its new $700 Sonos Sub was picked by customers (customers!) and then the Sonos engineers had to make a speaker to fit inside.

Sonos Controller For Android And iOS Receive SUB Support In Latest Update

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Sonos has updated their Controller app on Android and iOS in preparation for the June 19th launch of the Sonos SUB. The Sonos SUB is the latest addition to their top-notch wireless audio system and adds that ground shaking bass you’ve been looking for. The SUB works with all amplified components: CONNECT:AMP/ZP120/ZP100; PLAY:5/ZonePlayer S:5; PLAY:3 and features:

Sonos Ditches Hardware Remote In Favor Of Apps

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Out with the old, in with the slightly-less-old
Out with the old, in with the slightly-less-old

Sonos is ditching its dedicated CR200 remote control in favor of mobile apps. According to Sonos boss John MacFarlane, this was the plan all along. Now, though, there are enough people with smartphones and tablets to finally make the hardware controller obsolete.

iHome iW1 Is A Great AirPlay Speaker System, But Lacks Some Polish [Review]

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iW1

 

AirPlay speaker systems are finally hitting the market in droves, but most of the ones we’ve come across cost more than a new iPad. As much as I love lusting over the devilishly good looks of higher end speaker systems, I don’t like forking over a ton of cash for a speakers even if they do come with AirPlay support. iHome’s iW1 sets out to become the wireless airplay system for the average consumer. It looks good. Plays pretty tunes. And at $300 it’s fairly cheap, but should you buy it?