When it comes to consumer electronics design, Bang and Olufsen is one of my favorite companies. The Danish manufacturer has been using the wheel as a key component of its devices’ user interface for decades and the iPod was probably inpired by the wheel of the BM 6000 launched in 1974.
Today, Bang and Olufsen launched Beosound Essence, a wheel-shaped music sound system. In the complete article, watch the presentation delivered today at CES by CEO Tue Mantoni .
In reality, Beosound Essence includes two components: the Beosound Essence Remote and a box that you have to hide. The box is the “brain” that provides for AirPlay streaming, DLNA streaming, Spotify Connect, QPlay and thousands of global internet radio stations and you manage everything from the palm of your hand using the small aluminium wheel.
Beosound Essence Remote can be mounted on a wall (photo below) or you can buy the version mounted on various colored plates to leave on a table or a counter-top. (photo) The system is only compatible with Bang and Olufsen loud speakers and offers a complete integration with Spotify, meaning that you do not need to have the Spotify application on your smartphone to listen to the playlists stored in your Spotify account. You can stream music from other music apps, over Airplay from the iPhone or over DLNA from Android mobile devices.
Bang and Olufsen is developing its own music application that will be available for iOS and Android.
With Essence, Bang and Olufsen’s goal was to design the most user friendly and intuitive music system ever, and from the demo, I can tell they achieved it. “By applying our behavioural and ethnographic studies of how people live and live with music we have developed the simplest user interface available in the market for people who do not accept a compromise in terms of quality and performance. BeoSound Essence builds on Bang & Olufsen’s heritage of understanding user behaviour and technology and breaking new ground to make things simple”. said Bang & Olufsen CEO Tue Mantoni. Watch his presentation of the BeoSound Essence in the video above.
As usual with the “consumer electronics’ diva”, the price tag is a little insane, the Besound Essence which includes a wall-mounted BeoSound Essence Remote and a box will costs $995, each additional wall-mounted or table top BeoSound Essence Remote cost $200.