Powered by SoundHound’s virtual assistant platform, Hound, the speaker can interact with users via voice commands with the same ease as Amazon Echo and Google Home. As with those two speakers, it can answer compound and complex questions in a context-aware manner, allowing you to ask it for all sorts of information as if you were talking to a living, breathing concierge.
Of course, the Boombotix Hurricane is, first and foremost, a speaker. As such, you can have it play tracks by simply mentioning an artist, genre, or mood, apart from singling out individual songs and playlists. It also leverages SoundHound’s database of music information, so you can have it play “the top rock songs of the last ten years” without any problem, making it an excellent music discovery platform. It records all your musical requests, by the way, sorting them by the time of day to create a preference profile, so the darn thing can eventually start playing your choice of music without having to utter a word.
As for the actual speaker, it comes with two-full range drivers, a 10-watt active subwoofer, and an echo-canceling mic to ensure it picks up your commands clearly in a reasonably portable enclosure. At launch, it will only support Spotify, Slacker Radio, and NPR News, along with Houndify’s services, although this should be expanded down the line.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Boombotix Hurricane. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $129.