While a waterproof, buoyant speaker seems like a viable option for boaters, fishers, and generally wet sport enthusiasts, most of them are powered by Bluetooth, meaning that a very delicate and usually non-waterproof smartphone needs to be within close proximity.
But the folks at Freedom Audio (formerly FreshETech) don’t believe that should be the case, and so they built the Drifter.
The Drifter is one of ten products to recently launch out of the R/GA Accelerator (powered by TechStars), and it’s one of the first speakers that runs on its own operating system, meaning it can load up music and play it back without the help of a smartphone.
The Drifter runs on Android, with 16GB of storage, and integrates with most of the main music services like Spotify, Beats, Apple Music (but not Pandora), so that users can simply load up their music and hit the road.
It’s waterproof, buoyant and generally rugged, and comes with its own touchscreen to control the music.
Founder Adam Schwartz says that, during the summer months, around 37 million people venture out into the water at least once a month, whether it’s for fishing, paddleboarding, etc. This is the target demographic for the Drifter, as these folks usually don’t want to have to worry about their smartphones getting wet or damaged but still want to listen to their jams.
Of course, the Drifter also comes loaded up with the ability to play over Wi-Fi at home, or Bluetooth when out of Wi-Fi range.
The Drifter is available for pre-order now on the Freedom Audio website at a price of $199, with units shipping in October. Once it goes to retail, however, the Drifter will get bumped up to $299.