Enhance Your Daily Rock Out With the Smack Attack

Have you ever beat your hands on the steering wheel in rhythm with the radio?

I’m guessing the answer is likely yes. Hell, so many people have done it that it’s quite possible Neal Peart drum solos are the cause of more driving distractions than cell phone use.

Of course as fun as the act is, ultimately it is all for naught as you can beat the imaginary skins to your heart’s content, and it’s still just a steering wheel you’re hitting. Eventually, even the most bombastic of automotive percussionist are ultimately contributing nothing to the music.

You can change all of that though by purchasing a device patented as “Re-Inventing the Wheel” (or RITW), but commonly referred to by the manufacturer as the smack attack.

The smack attack turns your steering wheel into a digital drum set, capable of kit accurate sounds by connecting to your iPhone via bluetooth. What makes this more than a high tech car wash waiting room novelty item though is a list of features that include a variety of available sounds and ranges, a drum karaoke option that removes the drums from certain songs (and lets you upload tracks to do the same) so that you can fill in the beat, and you’re even able to record your best performances for all to hear through regular contests on the manufacturer’s website.

Of course, abilities aside, the real joy here comes in being able to finally get some feedback from your drive time drumming, and really contribute to the commuter concerto that most partake in. While I’m still holding out for a device that will give me concert hall acoustics in the shower, the smack attack is a must have for all those 9-5 workers of the world who still harbor rock star dreams.

  

Ford’s Looking to Make Driving Music Social With “Just Play”

Living in New York, I’ve made the increasingly necessary decision to never, ever own a car while in the city. As such I rely on walking and public transportation to get around. It’s certainly an ok option, but I miss driving around on a quiet night with some good friends and just listening to music. While an iPod is nice to have during my commute, there is no music listening experience (outside of a good concert of course) that can recreate how much fun it is to listen to music in the car.

Well unfortunately for lowly pedestrians like me, Ford is now looking to make that experience even better. They call the feature “Just Play” and it was created during the 24 hour “hackathon” at the Facebook campus. Just Play works with Ford’s voice activated Sync feature, and allows you to connect with your smartphone and Facebook app to share music with your friends. So whatever they are listening to, you can listen to as well and vice versa. Ford themselves acknowledge that it’s a “simple idea”, but there is some potential for this to incorporate other applications like Spotify and Pandora to create a driving music community experience that hasn’t really been around since the hey-day of rock on the radio.

Plus it just sound like fun.