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This is a strange opening sentence, but bear with me: music is becoming ever more visual the deeper we sink our lives in the internet and the so-called Internet of Things. This is largely thanks to faster connections, the prevalence of screens and services like YouTube, Netflix and the audio equivalents.
A new IndieGoGo product exemplifies this fusion. A company dubbed Nativ, under the wing of CEO Michael Li, aims to craft a “state-of-the-art high-resolution music system” from which users can access a bevy of multimedia.
The Vita, which is the business end of the system, is an 11.6-inch touchscreen on its exterior, and a streaming music centre below that”delivers you a wealth of information about your favorite artist, including biography, album details and tour dates and locations,” the company notes on its Indiegogo page.
Undoubtedly, the company’s biggest claim is that users can access “all the world’s music” though the Nativ Vita. It supports a number of streaming services, including Tidal, Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer, as well as internal home network sources. But how is it different to playing music through a tablet or smartphone?
Well, aesthetically, the Nativ Vita is simply a big tablet aimed at audiophiles who tend to invest in music more keenly than the populace. It’s certainly styled with that in mind, with stylish uses of woods, a large almost bezel-less screen and elegant support system. It’s designed to sit alongside your television (when streaming music videos), or practically wherever you fancy listening to music. The system also supports a built in hard drive bay for those wanting to play stored media.
For users looking at wireless audio solutions, the Nativ Vita features WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth aptX, AirPlay and support for Google’s Chromecast. There are also analog inputs for your older audio hardware, and voice recognition systems as well while talking to the Nativ directly or using an app.
Nativ will also offer a free SDK with the launch of the product, which will “extend its capabilities beyond pure audio applications.”
But the company’s not just punting the Vita itself. Two other accessories include the Nativ Pulse, which is a “high-precision linear Power Supply” tasked with providing noise-free power to the other component, the Nativ Wave. The Wave is the digital analogue converter, or DAC, which allows users with premium headphones to listen to music through the Vita. Ultimately, this product is about extreme as you can get, with enough processing power for data rich 32-bit streams and 384kHz samples.
And that’s really where the Nativ system aims to make its mark: the premium audio market. For one, it’s about 82% there at the time of writing. With a backing goal of US$100 000, the company has already made a large lump of that sum within the first two days.
Currently, the cheapest Vita can be had for US$999, but you can have a look at all pricing and backing options on Nativ’s Indiegogo page.