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Paul Ridden

The FretPen one-stringed guitar and pen

As fans of old delta blues will already know, even two or three strings on a guitar can be too many when belting out soulful music on a guitar-like instrument. Rather than changing the pitch of a long piece of tuned wire with a glass bottle or steel blade though, the FretPen uses technology to offer players three full octaves from just three frets on a real wood neck and a companion iPhone app. Oh, and it's also a pen.  Read More

The PiPhone from software engineer and photographer Dave Hunt

Since its launch and slightly delayed shipping in 2012, we've seen Raspberry Pi computers used for everything from a bartender to robots to a bizarre musical instrument. Now dedicated tinkerer Dave Hunt has used a Model B to create a touchscreen smartphone called the PiPhone, though he readily admits that it would be easier and cheaper to pick up an (arguably much better looking) budget cellphone from a shop in the mall, "but hey, where’s the fun in that."  Read More

The Drumstooled combines a kick drum, reversed pedal and height-adjustable stool

France's Patrice Bardin has come up with a stylish and eye-catching twist on self-accompaniment. Rather than stomp out a backbeat on a kick drum, home-made rhythm board or even an empty suitcase out front while thumping the strings of a battered acoustic guitar and throwing out soulful vocals, the Drumstooled is a mash up of a stool and an acoustic kick drum, with some colorful LED lighting thrown in for good measure.  Read More

Naim has unveiled the aluminum-clad Muso wireless music system

Streaming digital music around the home can be a lesson in compromise, offering convenience at the expense of fidelity. British high end audio specialist Naim says that its Muso system is different, claiming it delivers "a carefully engineered step up in sound quality and concentrates on creating the best possible experience for the listener whilst still being simple to set up and use." Taking design cues from its £125,000 (US$210,000) Statement home amplification system, but thankfully not costing quite as much, the aluminum-clad Muso treats each of its six speakers to its own digital amp for 450 W of combined power and supports the playback of high resolution WAV, FLAC and AIFF audio files.  Read More

Scott and Julie Brusaw relax on the new parking lot

About 8 years ago, an electrical engineer and his counselor wife started throwing around an idea to replace asphalt on highways and byways throughout the US with electricity-producing solar panels that were tough enough to be driven upon. The idea blossomed into a project, where the panels featured built-in LEDs that could "paint the road" with markings and warnings, and could be heated to prevent snow and ice build up. The US Federal Highway Administration paid for the couple to produce a working prototype, which they did, and then again to expand the concept into an operational parking lot setup. As the latter contract comes to an end, the Solar Roadways project has released photos of the (almost) completed installation at its Idaho electronics lab. Now the team is dipping into crowd-funding waters with a campaign to raise funds for the move into commercial production.  Read More

The Gibson Memory Cable powered by Tascam recording technology

Have you ever stumbled across a great-sounding riff while noodling away in the bedroom, only to find that by the time you've broken out your digital recording gear, you can't remember a note? The Memory Cable from Gibson Brands gets around such problems by merging a premium instrument cable with a digital audio recorder.  Read More

The BajaBoard is built to handle roads, dirt, grass, mountain trails or sandy beaches

Though the only range problems a leg-powered skateboard suffers are to do with the fitness of its rider, electric skateboards do offer the thrill of being able to take on a Corvette without the aid of bionic limbs, zip over dirt, grass or road without running out of puff, or even just get the adrenalin pumping on the way to work. For the last 3 years, an Australian design team has been working on a multi-purpose powered board called the BajaBoard, which boasts 12 kW (16 hp) of 4WD electric grunt, adjustable independent suspension and LED lighting at the front and back. The project has now headed to Kickstarter for the final push toward production.  Read More

The Eyefi Cloud offers unlimited photo uploads at a cost of US$49 per year

In 2007, Mountain View's Eyefi (formerly Eye-Fi) was the first to release an SD memory card that gave compatible digital cameras the ability to transfer images wirelessly to computers over Wi-Fi. A few years later, the company included an "endless memory" feature that checked for successful upload and deleted the image on the card to free up space. Last year, saw the launch of Eye-Fi Mobi cards which made it easier to throw images over to mobile devices, and now a private online storage service has been announced, offering unlimited photo uploads and allowing users to instantly share captured moments with friends and family over multiple devices.  Read More

The high brightness HIGHlite LASER WUXGA 3D projector from DPI

Digital Projection International (DPI) has announced the forthcoming release of what's claimed to be the first production high-brightness laser projector in the world. The low maintenance HIGHlite LASER WUXGA 3D delivers 10,000 lumens from a stable solid state illumination system rated for over 20,000 hours, which negates the need for regular lamp replacement cycles.  Read More

The Amp1 from Thomas Blug's BluGuitar

Toneheads will doubtless already be familiar with Thomas Blug. In 2004, Fender held a competition in Europe to find the regal ruler of its iconic Stratocaster to celebrate the guitar's 50th birthday. The German fret master took the crown, and has been known as the Strat King ever since. He's also known for his mammoth tone, something he's brought to the recently-revealed Amp1 in buckets. The 100 W signature boutique tube amp is also small enough to fit on a pedalboard or throw in a gigbag.  Read More

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