I wouldn’t exactly want to sell my kidneys to be able to get one of these or anything, but they’re still a somewhat interesting piece of technology. Being developped by the National (that being the nation of Japan) Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), they’re speakers that can be operated through a network.


Doesn’t sound like much, but there are some interesting uses to this. I’m too lazy to think of them for you, but you can figure some out yourselves. It draws power right from the ethernet cable and shows up as a virtual sound device by a Windows PC and is controlled using a special driver and control software. The virtual sound device converts sound data to the speaker’s sound format in real-time.

There’s no word on price, as I don’t really think they’re being sold yet. The network speaker will be on display at the 2nd Next Generation Wireless Technology Showcase from July 13-15 at Tokyo Big Sight. Story VIA Tech Japan.


  1. Now all we need is a palmtop that can run controller software commanding a file server PC — I see 802.11b as the best candidate for the palm — and you can set up one of those house-wide sound systems with speakers in every room, and have the palmtop function as a wireless remote control that can be used from anywhere. Having a pool party? Select your tunes from the file server and play them via the outdoor speakers, all using the palmtop as a remote. Turn those speakers off when you’re done, and start the mood music in the bedroom even before you get there…

    Superfly would have to have a system like this, if he was time-warped into the 00s (and hey, most of his clothes are back in fashion again, too!)