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Navvo Debuts Voice-Controlled Wireless Audio System


Privately held startup
Navvo Group, led by former Best Buy executive Wade
Fenn, launched a do-it-yourself wireless multi-room,
multi-zone audio system that uses Android tablets and
smartphones as system controllers.

Unlike other wireless multiroom-audio systems,
Navvo’s Voco system also offers voice control of song
selection. To select songs, users speak into an Android
device loaded with a free Navvo-provided app
downloaded from the Android Market. The app uses
Navvo’s own voice-control technology, not an Android
phone’s Google-supplied voice recognition software,
to deliver a more integrated experience, said Tom Gotuzzo,
senior VP of sales and marketing.

The app also lets users select songs via an Android
device’s touchscreen.

With a Voco system, up to 10 different sources or
songs can be streamed simultaneously around the
house via WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ from multiple networked
PCs, multiple network attached storage (NAS) drives,
and from the Android device itself to up to 10 Voco VZone
players, which are priced at a suggested $199.
A single song can also be transmitted to all V-Zone
players in the house.

The players connect to a home’s existing audio and
home theater systems via HDMI, optical digital cable,
and analog RCA cables.

Additional music sources can include USB sticks,
USB-connected iPods other than the iPod Touch and
iPhone, other-brand USB-connected MP3 players
plugged directly into a V-Zone player. Sources also
include more than 50,000 free Internet radio stations
and podcasts streamed by the Android device through
the Navvo-provided app.

Via touchscreen or voice, the app lets users search
for music stored on a source by title, artist or genre.