April 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Party Hard(ware)

blicko pi

Ten years ago, we spent much of our seated time staring at computers and televisions. Now we get to stumble around staring at smartphones, too.

But if I’m right, the future won’t be all about staring at screens, in part because the same sort of democratization and specialization that has transformed the software industry is happening on the hardware side. Among other things, I am looking forward to pressing buttons for Like, Ban, and Skip on the walls of my house, or even on my desk.

Today brings word that Blicko, the party playlist app we called “awesome” last summer, is launching a hardware version powered by Rasberry Pi that will connect to any WiFi network and stereo, and allowing more complex and convenient party playlisting than you could ever do with a CD player, or even with many party playlist apps. Its creators are currently seeking 90 grand on Kickstarter to turn this drawing…

…into a more polished version of this early prototype:

Once they do, by October if all goes to play, anyone with a house, apartment, restaurant, bar, or other location with speakers in it will be able simply to plop this $129 box down next to the speakers, join it to the WiFi, and play music on it using the Blicko app, which can pull music from SoundCloud, Spotify, WIMP, and YouTube.

Read more about the Blicko app itself, or find out more about the hardware on Kickstarter.