Rhodri Marsden on three of the latest must-have gizmos currently putting
the prog in progress…
Guitars can be a bit cumbersome. This has spawned the invention of a practice instrument called the Cross Guitar, although the unintentionally hilarious promotional video exaggerates the problem a bit. It’s essentially a strung plank with two fold-out arms, allowing you to practice on something that feels guitar-y but has much less bulk. It won’t sound particularly good, but that’s not the point; guitarists keen to refine their technique have already funded it five times over on Kickstarter.
I became intrigued the other day by a wave of portable Bluetooth speakers that proudly boast their resistance to certain depths of water. I can understand watches being given such ratings, but if you want to listen to music, do you want to sit underwater? (I don’t.) This beast, which boasts 50 hours of battery life and 360º sound, is rated IP67, which means you can keep it one metre underwater for 30 minutes. But it also floats. Which means that to test its resilience you’ll need to sit on it in a swimming pool.
Frustrated drummers like myself who enjoy tapping on tables (and irritating anyone nearby) will relish Specdrums, which are small rings that you slip onto your tapping fingers. Those rings connect with an app and transform those taps into sound; the clever bit, however, is that the sound produced depends on the colour you’re tapping on. The rings come with a 12-colour keyboard, but you could just as easily assign sounds to a book cover, your jeans and a tabletop to produce an instant drum kit.