London based Internet radio startup Mixcloud announced a bold move into the consumer electronics market with the launch of the world’s first 3D radio.The radio – a deceptively small device that fits into the palm of your hands – provides an immersive sound experience with the listener at the centre. The company describes it as the “Ball of Sound”.
The founders of Mixcloud – Engineers and Mathematicians from Cambridge University – had their first experience of 360 degree sound at Berlin’s leading hardcore techno club, aptly named Hard. They fell in love and set out to replicate the experience in a device that fits into your pocket. Mixcloud received support from a UK Government grant and collaborated with leading audio and electronics specialists from around the world to develop the solution.
“Audio projection is an interesting problem which has fascinated us for years. This project gave us the perfect opportunity to explore the subject in more detail” said Mixcloud CTO Mat Clayton. “The key challenge we faced was range. In initial trials, immersive projection led to severe discomfort for listeners. By working closely with audio producers we feel we have come up with a very elegant solution.”
The Ball of Sound promises to deliver a perfect multi-directional listening experience, wherever the device is placed. The first model has been developed for home use, from the bedroom to the living room. There is no further information on the launch date or price, but a spokesman from the company stated they are aiming for a summer launch.
“We are already busy developing our next version” said Mat Clayton. “4D radio will blow your mind.”
Mixcloud’s vision is to build the home for on-demand radio online. Online radio is currently very fragmented, making it difficult for both discovery and promotion. Mixcloud connects relevant content to listeners more effectively by re-thinking radio – making it more social, personal and democratic.
Mixcloud was founded by Mat, Nico and Nikhil – 3 Cambridge graduates who set out to solve their frustrations as radio fans and DJs. The site was launched in September 2009 and has seen fantastic growth, attracting content from some of the leading brands, stations and DJs in the world.