A Berlin-based hardware company has developed an entirely new way to interact with your favourite music through the use of NFC-enabled chips to play audio through streaming services.
Senic has developed what they call Muse Blocks – 7x7cm printed squares with an embedded NFC ship which allows you to encode and link any song, album, playlist or podcast from your streaming service of choice.
Available in packs of three for 15€ or 69€ or a box of seven, which an attached ash wood bar for wall mounting.
Unfortunately at this stage, the Muse Blocks are only available for the USA, Canada and most European Countries.
With a mission to ‘create seamless smart home experiences that put humans back at the center,’ the Muse Block system works with any NFC enabled smartphone by merely holding it within 2cm of the Block, which will then automatically take you to its programmed location within the selected music app.
Senic has essentially developed a pseudo-audio format in the form of blocks made of acrylic glass and printed in a soft-touch matte laminate finish.
Each Muse Block is roughly a fourth the size of a CD case, with each block capable of being reprogramed to any pice of streaming audio of your choosing.
In fact, through the use of If This Than That (IFTTT), users may even be able to program popular services like Netflix or YouTube to the Muse Blocks for automatic playback.
The biggest draw for the Senic Muse Block format is the ability to custom print your Blocks with your favourite albums or artists.
If not, you can always opt for a selection of images from Senic to place on your Muse Block.
You can upload any square formatted JPEG image for use on the Muse Blocks, provided you own the rights to the image.
For the burgeoning or established artists out there, Senic even offers mass production of Muse Blocks for promotion.
According to Matthias Nawrocki of Gira, the Muse Blocks are ‘the perfect blend between the physicality of a Vinyl and the flexibility of streaming’.
While this format isn’t likely to overtake digital or even the return of physical media formats, it does represent a point in the audio industry where reinvention is becoming more present in the market.
As digital media and streaming services continue to increase, there will continuously be innovating brands trying to reinvent or innovate the way we access the content.