March 7, 2008 The Iona Cube concept design from Cambridge Consultants is a low-cost, Wi-Fi enabled Internet radio that provides a novel, simplified interface through which users can access up to 10,000 internet radio stations.
Based on the Iona platform technology shown at CES 2007, the device works by simply turning the Cube onto one of four sides and it will automatically change to the programmed radio station. A fifth side contains the speaker and the sixth side switches the radio on or off. In a departure from the traditional ‘push-button’ user-interface of Internet radios, the fun design of the Cube simplifies the way users select which Internet radio stations they listen to. Customization of the Cube can be achieved via a number of ways, including using a simple web interface.
Duncan Smith, head of consumer products at Cambridge Consultants, says, “Consumers won’t have to scroll through endless lists of stations to find their favorites, they will just have to flip the radio. It epitomizes convenience and is so simple and intuitive that everyone will be able to use it.” The designers involved in this new concept wanted to keep simplicity to the maximum and ensure the device was affordable. Accordingly, even the volume button has been removed. To adjust the volume the listener instead twists the Cube to the right to increase the volume and twists to the left to decrease it.