A few weeks ago, we told you about Instacube, a beautiful digital photo frame for your Instagram feed. That was immensely cool. But as much as we all like photos, there's nothing more important for ambiance than music, right? A group of students from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design thought so too, and built an amazing prototype device called the Skube.
The Skube is a beautifully designed wireless radio that lets you listen to your music, as well as what your friends like. It connects to your Last.fm account to load your music, and uses Spotify to find and play the tracks. To start listening to music, all you have to do is load your Last.fm playlists, and off you go.
It doesn't end here, though. As great as it is to have a physical radio for your online music, by itself it's just a cute gimmick. The real magic happens when you connect several of these Skubes together. Using magnets and sensors, the Skube senses the proximity of another Skube, and a merged playlist is created. If you like a track from your friend's Skube, simply click the heart button at the back of yours to add it to your own playlist.
The asymmetrical design of the device makes it possible to flip it over to switch between modes. If you stand the Skube on one side, it'll play music from your own playlist; turn it over, and it enters discover mode, playing music similar to what you already know and like. Use the touch button on the top of the device to play, pause, and skip tracks.
Getting a bit technical, the Skube is based around the Arduino microcontroller, and it uses the Max/MSP programming environment to access Last.fm's and Spotify's APIs. If you're interested in the technical details, watch this video for some interesting information from inside the Skube.
According to The Verge, team member Andrew Spitz said they might consider creating a Kickstarter project to fund a larger production of the Skube, assuming there's enough commercial interest. For now, though, the Skube remains something music lovers can only dream about.
This story, "The Skube is a radio for Last.fm and Spotify that helps you discover new music" was originally published by TechHive.