Crowdsourced Wi-Fi network operator Fon successfully completed the Kickstarter campaign for its upcoming Gramofon social music router Thursday. Fon raised a total of $315,295 through the campaign, and was able to secure pre-orders of more than 4,500 Gramofon devices at varying price levels. Fon originally set out to raise at least $250,000 through Kickstarter and surpassed that goal this past weekend.
Gramofon is Fon’s take on connected audio devices: The device consists of a Wi-Fi router with an audio out port to connect to stereo systems or standalone speakers and a simple play-pause button. Playback of music is initiated with a mobile device, similar to the way users control a Sonos speaker or cast media content to a Chromecast streaming stick.
Unique about Gramofon is its social angle: Users can allow their Facebook friends to join the Gramofon Wi-Fi network and take charge of the music program without the need to exchange any Wi-Fi passwords. Gramofon also doubles as a Fon router, meaning that users share their home internet connection with other Fon users and in turn gain free access to other Fon routers.
I first reported about Gramofon when I spotted the device in an FCC filing in March. Last month, Fon officially unveiled the device with the launch of its Kickstarter campaign. The company now wants to ship first devices to Kickstarter backers in July and begin to take pre-orders on its website as well.