Rotterdam-based Volareo began a limited pre-order round for the world’s first blockchain-enabled smart speaker this morning, a device which allows users to listen to a lifetime of free music while providing instant compensation to musicians. Based on an open-source, decentralized platform and powered by Musicoin, the speaker is controlled via mobile app or voice commands, and promises to break new boundaries in both cryptocurrency and musical appreciation.
Volareo debuted in Austin at SXSW 2018, and has since been featured in some of the most influentialinternational and Dutch media outlets. On the July 8 broadcast of MC Plays, Musicoin’s weekly candid roundtable discussion, Volareo founder Nick Yap discussed some of the fundamental differences that make the speaker unique. First and foremost, Volareo compensates artists seamlessly and instantly with every single play. Backed by Musicoin’s UBI protocol, listening is always free and without ads, with artist royalties paid in MUSIC, Musicoin’s in-house cryptocurrency. Listeners are given the option to engage further with their favorite artists by simply clapping their hands or pressing a button within the app to leave additional tips. “Tipping is entirely voluntary, but can be used to really build a relationship between listeners and artists,” Yap says. Bands can even choose to reward their best tippers with special incentives like exclusive tracks, t-shirts, or pre-releases. “This is more than just listening to and showcasing music—it’s about building community.” Each Volareo comes pre-loaded with 500 MUSIC to encourage tipping, and a double authorization system allows listeners to verify all tips before they are sent.
In addition to streaming from the Musicoin platform, the device features both audio out and in jacks and the ability to play popular services like Spotify or Apple Music via Bluetooth. But it’s the open-source nature of Volareo that unequivocally separates it from Amazon Echo or Google Home’s walled garden devices. Developers are encouraged to use Volareo’s API to create their own dapps (decentralized apps), ushering in a truly independent world of opportunity and freedom to the smart speaker market.
Upon release, Volareo will accept voice commands and can be controlled within the app in four languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, and French—with additional languages supported in the future. With voice commands, listeners can search by artist, song title, or even lyrics, thanks to Volareo’s partnership with LyricFind.
Isaac Mao, founder of the Musicoin Project stated, “Volareo opens a new chapter to the blockchain ecosystem. It’s a tangible device that bridges our daily lives with the crypto economy, and re-thinks the way we can engage with, listen to, and get paid by music. Musicoin’s hardware partnerships will definitely add new paths to the smart speaker arena. This is actually a game changer.”
Members of Volareo’s mailing list received an early-access link to the pre-order sale at 1:00 PM CEST, with links posted on social channels two hours after. Only 100 units will be sold during this limited-time engagement at the price of $99 USD, although users opting to purchase with MUSIC will receive a special additional discount. Volareo is set to deliver end of Q4 2018.
Volareo is a music streaming smart speaker that makes the benefits of blockchain accessible and cryptocurrency easy to use. Born out of the need for innovation in high quality hardware, Volareo seeks to benefit active music makers and discoverers, looking to use breakthrough technologies in the music industry. See more at: volareo.live.
Musicoin (MUSIC) is a smart cryptocurrency and music streaming platform built upon the Musicoin blockchain. Musicians and listeners worldwide are encouraged to visit Musicoin’s official website at musicoin.org.