A Closer Look - Outside
The heart of the Smartbay system is the docking station. Soundgraph will be shopping these to various case manufacturers like Thermaltake, Silverstone and the likes as they have done with their other iMON products in the past, so that these companies can incorporate it into HTPC enclosures. The Smartbay itself is intended for users who already have a system and want to add this functionality to such a system. The dock itself is quite simple and is made of metal and shiny plastic.
A sticker in the front of the Smartbay lets the user know that an App is needed to get the most out of the unit. In the rear you have multiple connectors, all of which are of different shape, so that you do not end up connecting the wrong cable to these. A large sticker on the underside sports all the regulatory logos along with the one from Soundgraph.
Hidden in the dock itself is the IR receiver. Interestingly enough it has been placed in such a way, that it may receive signals from the remote regardless if the dock is open or closed. Sadly, there is no spring loaded mechanism to open the dock. All you have to do is pull down on the latch.
Before putting the Smartbay into a system, I tried out the dock by itself. The pad does not touch the base of the dock, thus resting solely on the connector. Considering that this part is quite fragile on both the dock and on an iDevice, I would have liked to see a recessed connector, allowing for the pad to rest on the plastic parts. Instead Soundgraph has chosen to use pads to be placed unto the dock to bridge the gap - a somewhat crude fix to the issue.