Give me Jordi Parra's Spotify Box working prototype over a Sonos or Onkyo receiver any day of the week. In fact, I might just try making one myself, by adding RFID tags to little wooden discs that can be slid inside the Spotify radio.
Each disk is linked to a particular Spotify playlist, and as the radio has a Wi-Fi component, putting the disc inside would instantly trigger the playlist. As the video below shows, little LEDs dance inside the speaker, so you get all the class of a style icon (Parra lists Dieter Rams as being the obvious influence here), with the flashiness of today's docks.
While it's just a prototype that only works when hooked up to a computer, Parra is confident he can use Arduino and an ARM processor to actually turn it into a standalone radio. Created for Parra's final degree project, he's been receiving advice from Spotify's Art Director and is hopeful he could get some success with Kickstarter and actually realise his idea. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd jump at a chance to support this amazing project - and actually buy one, too. [Jordi Parra via Wired]