Jake Sigal is 27 now, so you can't exactly call him a tech prodigy any more.
Still, the young man behind the Ion USB turntable and Delphi's coolest XM Radio products is back -- with his own company and his own very cool gizmo.
Sigal called GLITR Thursday from Hong Kong, where he was wrapping up a series of meetings with the developers and build partners involved in his latest device, the Ira.
That's an acronym for Internet Radio Adapter, and that's precisely what the device is.
What does the device do?
"If you have wireless Internet and a home stereo or boombox, you can get access to over 14,000 radio stations and podcasts from all over the world, from anywhere in the world, and the thing sets itself up in two minutes, automatically, without any computer needed and without any subscriptions," Sigal said.
The product was intentionally designed simply, without some extra bells and whistles that Sigal said a techmeister like himself might actually have liked.
That's the mantra for Sigal's Ferndale-based Myine Audio: "Get less." Sigal said it's meant to appeal to "people of any technological sophistication, any education level, any age."
The device has a suggested retail of $149 and is available now on the Myine Audio site and Amazon.com. Sigal is expecting it to be available at the usual retail behemoths in time for the holidays.
Sigal added: "You're already paying 60 bucks a month (for Internet access). Why not get all that music, sports and talk you're already paying for?"
So how do you navigate through that huge list of 14,000 audio streams? Sigal said Ira searches -- by music genre, keyword, location, radio station call letters, etc. -- to get you where you want to go. The device also comes standard with all cables needed for a hookup to any audio system or boombox.
And its internal list of Internet audio streams is automatically updated over the Web, transparent to the user.
Sigal said Myine now employs four people in Ferndale, and plans on hiring two more within the next month and four more before the end of the year.
Sigal is a Columbus, Ohio native who went to Ohio University. From there he went to Cumberland, R.I.-based Ion Audio, where he invented the USB turntable and a few other products. Then he had the chance to go to Delphi Corp. in 2006 as product manager for XM satellite radio.
In January 2008, he and partner Massino Baldini, business line manager of XM for Delphi, started Myine.
"I had the opportunity to move to LA or the Bay area, but I found Michigan just had a lot to offer -- it's very affordable, and my wife and I are really happy with the Ferndale community," Sigal said.
He's been able to grab electronics talent from the auto industry, folks willing to trade stock for salary.