I met with the folks at Peri this week to check out their Duo Case. This device is an iPhone case with a built-in 2,500mAh battery for charging your iPhone. It also has two speakers built into the back of the case, making it the most portable of speakers. But what really got me excited is its support for Wi-Fi Audio, which sets this product apart.
Peri is heading into the last week of an Indiegogo campaign, where it's already raised US$110,000 and passed it goal. There are seven days left, however, to pick up a Duo Case for $99 through Indiegogo—it will MSRP for $139. The Duo Case will ship in the second quarter of 2015.
Here are two working prototypes I was shown in my meeting:
Peri Duo Case
As I said above, it's the Duo Case's support for Wi-Fi Audio that has me the most intrigued. For one thing, Duo Case is designed to be used as a speaker even if you detach it. So you can set the case down on a table and still stream music to it. With Wi-Fi Audio, you get a much longer range than you would with Bluetooth.
Duo Case was also designed to be used with other Duo Cases. Using the Peri app, one iPhone can stream to up to 64 (!!) different Duo Cases, and they'll all play in synchronicity. That means a group of friends can get together and combine their iPhones into one large sound system. A group of runners or hikers could all listen to the same music without blocking themselves away from each other with headphones.
This is a quality of Wi-Fi audio, and it's the same technology Devialet is using in its high-end Phantom Implosion Sound Center I wrote about during CES. It's been around for years, but few companies have yet to take advantage of it (Apple uses Wi-Fi Audio in AirPlay, but Apple has done a terrible job of promoting this feature/technology).
I can see Wi-Fi Audio eventually taking off, however, especially with younger consumers. Products like Duo Case are likely to be a part of that happening.
The Duo Case will have a built-in microphone allowing it to be used for a speaker system. It also has a quick-slide mechanism that allows you to snap in your iPhone in less than a second—Peri has applied for a patent on its idea. You charge the Peri through a MicroUSB port.
In addition to Wi-Fi Audio, the Peri Duo Case also supports traditional Bluetooth, meaning you can stream music to it from Android devices or a Bluetooth-equipped Mac or PC. Note that Peri has only announced plans for cases that fit iPhone 5 and 5s, iPod Touch, and iPhone 6. It's also compatible with Apple's AirPlay.
The battery provides 12 to 17 hours of additional talk time for your iPhone, or 4 to 6 hours of continuous playback, depending on your volume level.
Here's the company's Indiegogo pitch:
[Update: This article was updated to clarify information about Wi-Fi Audio. - Bryan]