Smart speakers are now common in homes, even for those not fully into smart home tech. They typically come in various shapes and sizes, but many share a limitation – they project sound in a single direction, usually forward. While some 360-degree speakers exist, they require complex hardware or a central placement in the room. This concept design presents a simpler yet fascinating solution inspired by nature. The circular speaker rotates to direct sound toward you, mimicking how a sunflower follows the sun.

Normally, sound from a speaker moves in the direction it faces. Omni-directional speakers address this by having drivers facing multiple directions to cover all angles. While effective, this approach increases the number of components and costs. It may also necessitate placing the speaker in an open area, restricting interior design choices.

Solros, named after the Swedish word for “sunflower,” is a concept that uses self-driving car and robot vacuum technologies. It can determine your location and rotate its disc-shaped head to always face you. It can also sense your proximity and adjust the volume accordingly, creating the impression that the sound is consistently following you throughout a space.

The speaker can adapt to your preferences, either blending into the background or becoming a focal point. Available in beige, black, red, and green, its minimalist design suits various interiors. Its graceful movements minimize distractions and spark curiosity for visitors, making it a conversation starter, especially when music plays.

While the design is intriguing, a potential concern arises when multiple people are in the room. Relying on LIDAR alone may not prioritize certain individuals, causing the speaker to become confused and fixed in place, rather than directing sound correctly. Solros simplifies speaker composition but introduces complexity in the logic needed to avoid such deadlock situations, making it more intricate than a straightforward 360-degree speaker.