Death to the dock! Bluetooth speaker selection grows and sales show no signs of slowing down

consumer momentum on adoption of bluetooth speakers remains rapid

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The portable Bluetooth market is growing rapidly, and we’re beginning to see several new companies throw their hats in the ring to see if they can successfully tap into the market. According to Twice.com‘s recent article on the explosive growth within the speaker market, we have seen this segment grow in 2012 496% with sales of over 2.2 million Bluetooth speakers. A lot of this growth is attributed to the widespread adoption of the smartphone and more specifically, Android devices. The size of the Bluetooth speaker market is reported to be $264 million in 2012 according to NBD research. With this type of growth in 2013, this gadget could be a billion dollar market just in the US.

Boombotix CEO, Lief Storer commented, “we see a lot of viability in the Bluetooth speaker segment, but with so many players in the space, brands that can innovate with design and standout feature sets will be the only winners. We also expect to see the market become segmented  almost like what you see with bikes. You don’t just get a bike anymore. You get a road bike, a mountain bike, and possibly a commuter.”

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Bose looking to play ball in the mini Bluetooth speaker market

Company better known for its high quality audio systems launches first ultra-portable speaker

The cat’s out of the bag – Bose is getting into the Bluetooth portable speaker market. This past week, the company, perhaps best known for its line of high quality audio systems, introduced a most noteworthy new product: the SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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Wu-Tang Clan Member Becomes Teacher

Rapper uses power of hip hop to teach students about science

While we may spend the better parts of our day manufacturing the world’s best portable speaker for music lovers the world over to enjoy, we still like to check in on what’s going on with the industry-side of the music world every now and then. Here’s a story that I came across that was so out there—and so cool—that I just had to share it with the Boombotix fans: Wu-Tang clan member GZA will soon be taking his hip hop talents and applying them to the classroom to teach students about science.

Wu-Tang GZA
^Yes, this guy^

He will be working with Columbia Professor Christopher Emdin, who is openly a huge fan of GZA, Wu-Tang, and the whole hip hop community in general, as well as lyrics website Rap Genius to launch a program in New York with the goal of using rap and the process of how to become a good rapper to turn science students into good science students.

Christopher Emdin speaks to students in class

Emdin and GZA met this past summer at a radio show hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect – GZA had just finished a series of meetings with physicists at Harvard and MIT, getting ideas for his upcoming solo album about the galaxy (seriously), and Emdin was trying to figure out a way to get students more involved and interested in science.

The two started talking about science and education, specifically why science classes were failing to engage many African American and Latino students who, altogether, make up close to 70% of New York City’s student body. After a couple of follow-up conversations, they came up with this ambitious project.

Speaking to some of the thinking behind it, Professor Emdin told the New York Times that he believes teaching can be more effective when the teacher is able to get the students to stand up and be involved:

Kids relate best when they’re standing up. The teacher can measure engagement by the hand gestures and head bobs. And when the last kid couldn’t finish his verse, everybody gave him encouragement. In a traditional school, he’d have failed. We need to expand the notion of what success is.

GZA meanwhile sees tremendous potential behind the project, telling the New York Times: You never know, this could turn into something in the future as big as the spelling bee.

The following’s a video that Professor Emdin put together about the project and I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to not be inspired after watching it:

Dude figures out way to use LEGOs to play the drums

Drum sequencer made of popular building blocks

If you were born in the last 50 years, then you definitely know of the awesomeness associated with LEGO building blocks.

LEGOs blocks

One thing that they’re not often considered for is musical instruments, though Mark Crosbie may have opened up a whole new door with the “SoundMachine”: a drum sequencer that creates music using different colored LEGO blocks.

LEGOs sensor plays drums

The way it works is pretty straightforward: a SoundMachine scanner scans the music from a LEGO plate and transmits it to the computer via USB. The scanner is mounted above a plate made up of regular blue 32 x 32 LEGO base plates and features musical “notes” made up of LEGO 2 x 2 bricks.

LEGOs drums

Each scanner has in it a LEGO Mindstorms NXT that drives a NXT motor to move a plate under an array of 4 LEGO NXT 2.0 color sensors. As the plate moves, the color of the bricks is read, which then gets converted to MIZDI note messages by a controller written in Processing. That then gets sent to Ableton Live to play the sounds.

LEGO NXT color sensors

A standard LEGO color sensor detects 6 basic colors, leaving red, yellow, and green to encode the notes which, by the way, are arranged in 4 parallel tracks aligned with the color sensors. The white tiles are used to separate the notes and the sensors use a black reading to detect the start and end of the plate.

Since we make the world’s best portable speakers, we have a special place in our hearts for crazy scientists like Crosbie who think outside the box and figure out new ways to merge music and technology.

Here’s a video of his new music toy in action:

Have a gambling problem? Let us make things worse for you.

Taxi company and casino get together for a fun / potentially dangerous way to get guests to the gambling grounds

Casino taxi roulette game

More often than not, casinos don’t have a problem getting people to come to them. One casino, though, does have a problem, and they’ve decided to do something about it, something almost as drastic-look-at-me as Time’s choice to put a mother breast feeding on the cover of their magazine.

Casino taxi gambling service

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