Janus Friis’ Next Act Is A Hardware Startup Called Aether, And A “Thinking” Music Player Called Cone


Janus Friis made his name founding a series of disruptive software startups such as Skype, Rdio, Joost and (much earlier) KaZaA — some more successful than others.
Now the Swedish entrepreneur is moving into new territory: a hardware startup called Aether (formerly known by its in-stealth working title, The Morse Project) which today is debuting its first product, a 6.3-inch high, megaphone-esque music player called Cone.

Cone draws on music from streaming music platforms, along with Internet radio stations and potentially other sources, and the aim is to be as inclusive as possible. For this launch, Friis’ previous venture Rdio will be among the early integrations, “but we are in talks with several others,” Aether co-founder and chief product officer Duncan Lamb (who worked with Friis at Skype and also spent years at Nokia) tells me.

For an entrepreneur who has had many hits in the world of…

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