Thanks to companies like Spotify, Rdio, and more, a nearly endless succession of music flows from our devices like tap water. So while the design problem of the last 50 years or so has been the best way to get music to people, the design problem of the 21st century is all about how to make sure that, given endless choice, people are always hearing the music they want to hear.
Bang & Olufsen’s new stereo, the BeoSound Moment, is an innovative take on that problem. The system itself is all wood and aluminum, with clean lines and a jaunty angle. Flip it over, and you’ll find a touch-screen controller.
Designed by Tectonic founder Bill Flora, who also worked on Microsoft’s Metro interface, the BeoSound Moment controller features a pinwheel of colors called a Moodwheel, which allows listeners to pick music according to their current emotional state. By touching the lighter inner circle of the wheel, you can select music from your own collection that soots the mood of whatever color your finger has landed on: for example, blue might be EDM, while orange could be jazz and red could be rock.
The further away from the inner circle you move your finger, though, the more unfamiliar the music will get, with the BeoSound Moment plucking in tunes from Deezer, a Spotify-like streaming service with over 35 million songs.
As interesting as the Moodwheel is, though, the wooden back is even more interesting. But the wood isn’t just ornamental: it’s actually the more analog side of an innovative controller designed for the BeoSound Moment by Seattle-based interactive design firm Tectonic. It’s still a controller, but one with only a single button: press it and the BeoSound Moment starts playing music that matches what Bang & Olufsen calls your daily rhythm. How does it know what you want to listen to? Thanks to a technology called PatternPlay, the BeoSound Moment automatically memorizes your musical preferences at specific times and on specific days, effectively learning what kind of music you want at any given moment.
With its innovative two-side controller and intelligent music prediction technology, the BeoSound Moment looks like a slick designer stereo for the 21st century. Expect to pay, though: when it goes on sale in the United States later this year, the BeoSound Moment is predicted to cost as much as $2,700 dollars, if the U.K. price is anything to go by.