Tablets, smartphones and the like are a boon to people who like their life to have a soundtrack, but for all their advanced computing power, they often lack in the audio department – especially when earphones aren't an option. The result is often an inelegant combination of devices with add-on speakers making up for the mobile devices' lack of audio oomph. The Avy Smart Speaker, which makes its debut at CES 2015, is designed to combine an Android-based tablet with a Hi-Fi system for the audiophile.
Westport, Connecticut-based start-up Zettally's Avy Smart Speaker is an internet-connected devicethat combines the flexibility of a tablet with some serious stereo gear in a 1 kg (2.2 lb) package. That may sound cumbersome, but according to Zetally, it's aimed more at a home audience as a device that "runs the soundtrack for your connected life," while still being easily portable.
The Avy is basically a tablet that doesn't need a stand and has a much more powerful speaker system, so it has the advantage of being an aesthetic all-in-one package instead of a separate tablet, stand, and Bluetooth speaker. The Android 5.0 (Lollipop) operating system allows it to use common apps to set up a musical playlist for the whole day with songs streamed from the internet, streamed from another device, or stored on Avy itself.
In addition to audio, it can stream video from services such as Hulu or YouTube and mirror content on a bigger screen using HDMI or Chromecast. Zettaly claims that it's the perfect accompaniment for relaxing and exercising, as a kitchen television, a Skype interface, or an alarm clock.
The Avy comes in a choice of black or white color schemes and is powered by a quad-core ARM 1.0 GHz processor with 1 GB of DDRIII RAM, 8 to 32 GB of memory, and up to 64 GB of additional storage via microSD card. Connectivity is by means of Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, while power comes courtesy of a 14.8 Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.
The Avy can be controlled via the 7-in capacitive TFT touch screen packing 1024 x 600 pixels, the included remote control or the physical on/off and volume buttons on the device. For video conferencing, the unit has a front-facing VGA camera and built-in microphone.
But the centerpiece is the two 5 W 10-in speakers with proprietary sound chamber and waveguide. It's the inclusion of this that justifies the 35 x 11.7 x 12 cm (13.7 x 4.6 x 4.7 in) bulk of the Avy, with the public to get a chance to hear it go through its paces at CES where Zettally will be hoping to get attract some backers for the device's US$50,000 Kickstarter campaign that runs through February 12.
Pledge levels include the Avy Standard model for US$129 and the Pro for $169. After the 12th, Avy will be available for pre-orders for US$169 and US$229, while the retail price has yet to be determined.
The video below introduces the Avy smart speaker.
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