Sound That is Bigger on the Inside: The Speakal Doctor Who TARDIS Speaker Prototype [UPDATED]
This week is the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, which means there is a tremendous amount of tech related announcements coming out of the show. As often is the case, there is some crossover between tech and sci-fi. The Panasonic booth had a special "most impressive" (as they termed it) announcement of (pre-orders for) the Star Wars films coming to Blu-ray. I had heard there would be a TARDIS speaker system at the show, but didn't have much details on it. Engadget has come to the rescue (since I am not at the show myself) with this report of hands-on prototype of the new Speakal TARDIS speaker dock and Bluetooth speaker and IR remote control system.
I am assuming it will work with the iPhone as well as the iPod. The photos show an iPhone in the dock (a white at that). If the speakers are shielded enough to prevent GSM radio noise interference from the iPhone, it should work.
Personally, I am more interested in it as an IR remote control system than a speaker system. I already can easily pump media from my iTunes library (or iPhone) to my stereo system via the Apple TV. Though there are other situations where people could use a speaker system (dorm rooms, offices, bedroom, etc.). You can even use it to listen to Doctor Who: Podshock and The Sonic Newsdriver with it. How awesome would that be?
This is a prototype design. Expect a slightly smaller version arriving... err... materializing in stores around the same time we expect the new Doctor Who series to return to our screens, April.
UPDATE: I have just learned that Speakal final TARDIS product will be about 20% smaller than the prototype seen here and will include the St. John ambulance emblem. They are also planning on Daleks, Cybermen, and potentially a Weeping Angel designs.
See below what Engadget had to say about it:
"Hardcore Doctor Who fans might argue that the faulty chameleon circuit is to be blamed here, but really, this mini TARDIS is just a forthcoming Speakal iPod speaker dock that also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and an IR remote control. As pictured above, the dock connector lies in a pull-out tray at the bottom-front of the device, with the stereo speaker drivers hidden behind the front windows. There's also a bass chamber inside the box, and we could see the opening through the back windows, along with the volume dial and power switch at the bottom. We were told that the final product will actually be slightly smaller than this prototype, and the lamp at the top will also have an IR emitter installed, which can control your TV via an iOS app (presumably via Bluetooth). Anyhow, expect to see this blue box on the shelves for around $130 to $150 in April."
Note: The final TARDIS product will not have a door that will open.
See more photos of the prototype at CES, including the controls in the rear with the Engadget article: Speakal Doctor Who TARDIS speaker prototype hands-on -- Engadget
Thanks to Dave Cooper @daveac for the heads up on the Engadget article. Thanks also to Kevin Zari @supercazzola for the all the photographs (except the topmost) and for contributing information to this article.