October 21, 2013
“Everyone has heard about smart TVs and mobile consoles, and we don’t want to be another product in a saturated market,” says Rashid Moin, founder of Jhoombox. “We want Jhoombox to be about you. It is a device that lets people delve into their creative side and unleash something that they never knew could be produced.”
Moin hits dead center, because the market is increasingly saturated with mobile extension products. Regardless, Jhoombox dropped itself square in the middle of Apple TV, Ouya, and Emerson with a product that combines three key features of their competition.
Apple TV does not offer creative content generation or social networking, Ouya targets only Android gamers, and Emerson is plainly a karaoke machine. Jhoombox rolls all of that into one, but adds the extended functionality of streaming content, smart TV capabilities, creative content generation, and song mixing.
“The idea for Jhoombox started through my experience across different family gatherings,” says Moin. “I noticed that it was difficult to connect content from the Internet to karaoke machines.”
The word Jhoom comes from a Hindi word meaning singing and dancing, which is part of the inspiration behind Moin’s project. He wanted to create a device that made it easier to sing karaoke and delight at parties.
But the team had a two-part pivot after they began. First, they recognized the rising potential of the open source Android console, so they expanded Jhoombox to feature creative entertainment purposes on an open platform.
Additionally, being a karaoke content generator, they were targeting the family demographic only. Jhoombox was marketed as a suitable device for home entertainment on a Friday or Saturday night, and while that slogan has not changed, the team noticed young adults also taking a large interest due to the creative content generation.
“Beyond a simple karaoke machine now, we are pushing Jhoombox as a content generator above all else,” says Moin.
As Jhoombox keeps moving forward, they hope to keep up the initial success that led to the shutdown of their Kickstarter campaign. They set out to get $100,000, but stopped their fundraising at $7,492 because a private party funded their operation.
To that end, they are putting that money to good use to fit into the music sharing, games, and app trend that operates through the streaming device. Moin and his team believe that we exist in an age where people want to share content and be creative with who they are.
To them it is a world where we expect two-way communication and social networking on every level, and they intend to keep making Jhoombox better for everybody by opening it up to the community. Their open architecture SDK will be released soon, allowing Android developers to make specifically curated content for Jhoombox. The future looks to be filled with singing and dancing.
Jhoombox was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Washington DC Mixer & Startup Showcase on September 19th.
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