Listen to the Music: Kickstarter HiddenRadio2 Gets Apple’s Attention
You may remember the sleek and successful Bluetooth speaker HiddenRadio, when its Kickstarter campaign raised more than $1 million in 2012. Now, its second version, HiddenRadio2, is blowing away its Kickstarter goal of $90,000 (it’s already raised more than $500,000) and the company is starting to get the attention of a company you may have heard of…Apple.
“We’ve gotten very strong interest from Apple, they’ve actually reached out to us personally,” said creator John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen. “So all things willing, it would be great to be there.”
It’s no surprise that Apple would have interest in selling the speaker in its stores, as the creators behind HiddenRadio2, John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen and Vitor Santa Maria, have made design the priority of their product. It’s chromed outer shell and touch-sensitive top resembles Apple’s simple and sleek design. However, the duo behind the product said that even though they love Apple products, it wasn’t the inspiration behind their design.
“We designed it back in 2007 before Apple had this esthetic, we’re always inspired by Apple, but we really wanted to be true to what we wanted in a speaker,” said Van Den Nieuwenhuizen.
Van Den Nieuwenhuizen and Santa Maria came from design backgrounds, working at technology powerhouses including Whirpool, Motorola and HP. The duo has not only made design the focus of their speaker, but also improved upon its previous version by listening to customer feedback. As a result, HiddenRadio2 has a different placement of the USB port and users can now connect two $119 HiddenRadios together to create a stereo pair. But the biggest difference from the first generation is the audio.
“We’ve really dramatically improved the audio, we’ve done this by way of a two-way speaker system. So the way Jambox and Beats will do their audio is that they’ll have two speakers the same size with what’s called a passive radiator,” said Van Den Nieuwenhuizen. “What we do is use a subwoofer speaker with a tweeter speaker, so it’s actually much more of a truer base and high end frequency and this essentially allows you to open up the spectrum of music so it becomes more of a richer balance of audio.”
HiddenRadio2 also added a touch-sensitive top so through a touch of your finger you can play, pause, adjust the volume, skip forward or back, fast forward or rewind, answer a phone call, or even activate Siri. A single tap or turning on a paired smartphone will raise the lid off of the speaker grill for listening.
With 15 hours of battery life and audio with excellent frequency response, the company believes its bluetooth speaker is superior to the others out there. But why has it’s speaker gotten such huge feedback on Kickstarter while others haven’t? The company says its all about design.
“What’s going to get people to spend more money on ours is really the design. I think that’s always going to be our biggest asset,” said Van Den Nieuwenhuizen.
So what’s next for HiddenRadio?
“We have some new products in the pipeline like larger and smaller project but really 120% of our time will be working on this project and getting the app ready,” said Van Den Nieuwenhuizen.
Expect to see HiddenRadio2 and its app for iOS and Android in multiple colors in June. You may even see it at your local Apple store.