Manufacturers seem to be trying to enable every device for connectivity in order to increase functionality. In particular, adding USB connectivity to devices that are beyond the normal scope of computer peripherals is one of the latest trends in the electronics industry. We have seen some bizarre uses of the USB port, including everything from coffee warmers to fan outlets. It will be up to consumers to decide whether this is going to be a requirement for devices in the future, or just a bonus feature that only some will use and appreciate.
In the past, Philips has been known for its aggressive approach in trying to broaden the number of features offered by its devices and bringing unique ideas to the mix. These innovations sometimes turn out to be greatly successful, and in other cases they are lumped into the group of ideas that didn't gain consumer acceptance. In the case of the AZ2555 Sound Machine, Philips is trying something new by targeting a specific audience with the USB enabled sound machine (boom box).
Whether there is actually a need to make a boom box USB enabled is debatable. This is the reason why we wanted to take a look at it. If you buy a boom box for listening to CDs or the radio, where does USB connectivity fit in to the mix? Traditionally, it doesn't. But some engineer at Philips must have thought, "What if we use a USB port to allow the streaming of music (MP3 files) to our boom box?" and presto! The AZ255 idea was born.
Though this is a concept that might leave some scratching their heads, has Philips perhaps stumbled upon something here? Let's take a look at the AZ2555 Sound Machine and find out if adding USB connectivity is more than just a new marketing ploy.