Volareo: the world's first blockchain smart speaker

From Holland (via South by Southwest in Austin, Texas), Volareo is currently a prototype concept that aims to be a reality in short order.

Volareo is powered by Musicoin, a cryptocurrency and music streaming platform. As the world's first blockchain smart speaker, it aims to reward musicians in a direct, transparent and - very important, this - more significant way than more established streaming platforms.

(It's estimated artists earn approximately €0.007 per stream via Spotify. Musicoin, thanks largely to the transparency and simplicity of its blockchain methodology, is promising more like €0.1 per stream. And, of course, artists on the Musicoin platform will not have record labels, music publishers and the like vying for a share of that €0.007 per stream.)

The speaker itself can be controlled via app or voice commands, and will allow listeners to directly 'tip' their favourite artists by tapping the speaker or clapping their hands. And as well as allowing the listener to connect more directly with artists, Volareo's information to-and-fro means artists will understand more about their audience - or, at least, whereabouts their audience lives.

As at time of writing, a little more than 2500 artists have joined this blockchain initiative and are distributing their music via Musicoin. And the Volareo concept model means those who express an interest will be the first to know when the speaker is available.


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Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.