World Class Speakers + Maserati =

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There are two things I can’t stand (well, three if you count famine), and they are the overuse of the word “swag,” and products made by car companies that aren’t cars (cologne by Ferrari, for instance).

However, even though these two things are at the top of the old hate list, there are still exceptions. Particularly when the people over at Maserati take their skills at designing some of the best looking cars in the world, and apply it to crafting a pair of speakers that can only be described as swag.

Ok, so technically these speakers are manufactured by the fine folks at Bowers and Wilkins but, even though they are known for some impressive designs themselves, there is no mistaking those beautiful curves, that wood grain finish, or that general feeling that you can never, ever afford this as being the product of anyone else but Maserati.

True to the ideas of both companies though, these speakers aren’t just lookers, but top of the line in performance as well, as they are built around one of Bowers and Wilkins best models that may be manufactured with studio performance in mind, but could rock the foundations of any home as well.

Of course there is no price for these items available yet, and will probably require a “price upon request” approach to determine when they hit the market later this year. Until then (and for many likely long, long after) all we can do is admire the sleekest pair of speakers you’re likely to lay eyes over ears on, and maybe try to find another word besides swag to describe their superfluous levels of luxury.

Tune a Guitar in Seconds With the Gibson Min-Etune

Tuning a guitar is a monotonous and thankless task that any real guitar player must learn to love, at least until that day they finally get that crew of roadies. While the purist will tell you the only real way to do this is by ear, many know there is no shame in using a digital tuner to help you get the perfect sound, especially if you are just starting out.

Of course if you truly hate having to constantly tune your guitar the old fashioned way, then consider the upcoming Gibson Min-Etune.

The Min-Etune is a very impressive piece of technology that goes behind the head of your guitar, and with few strums will automatically physically tune your pegs. Battery operated, and featuring both pre-set and programmable tuning specifications, to truly appreciate exactly how quickly this incredible device functions, you have to view the video demonstration.

While the Min-Etune may appear to be blasphemy to some, this is the kind of technology you used to theorize about existing (possibly while high), and its impressiveness on function alone is hard to deny. While the price tag hasn’t been revealed yet, for the right person this is a potentially invaluable tedium eraser.

Thanks to 3D Printing, There is Now a Vinyl Record for the Digital Age

As the success of companies like Instagram (well, recent terms of service controversy notwithstanding) is proving, even an increasingly hi-tech world will grow nostalgic for the simpler, sometimes uglier, tech of days gone by. One consistent example of this has been the love for the classic design of the vinyl record, which some still insist just sounds better, even as the much more diverse, convenient, and technically higher quality world of digital audio becomes the undisputed music listening method.

However, programmer and inventor Amanda Ghassaei, a user on the site Instructables, has found a new and exciting way for the two to coexist. By using the consistently awesome technology of 3D printing, she has been able to convert an audio file into a 3D printed record that can be played on any traditional record player. The process of creating one is very complex (requiring some serious programming skills and, of course, a 3D printer), and the sound quality is even less than that of a traditional record, but as you can see in the video below, it does truly work.

To anyone with the set up and know how, the instructions can be found via video and text over at Instructables. As someone that can only admire the work and thought put into this process though, I find myself wanting to see this idea grow into a consumer good (with maybe a little higher quality on the final product) as with the addition of some custom artwork, and the right personal set up, this is an awesome idea that provides the opportunity to turn the best of your all-encompassing digital music library into a stylish, and classic, physical record collection.

Plants are Alive with the Sound of Music, Hills to Follow in 2014

Today on this gadget blog designed to bring you all things exciting and hi-tech, I bring you plants.

What’s that you say? Plants aren’t hi-tech and are barely exciting? Well, on any other day about any other plant, you may have a point. These plants, however, were designed by students at Keio University in Tokyo to be just about the most exciting, and unique plants in existence. That’s because they are built with a series of LED lights, sensor modules, speakers, and good old fashioned programming that turn them into musical instruments.

Umm…..Not Quite.

Dubbed “Sound Gardening,” they’re designed for multiple users to experience at once. The plants are real, and respond to touch and movement to generate certain noises, music, and voices. Certain plants work together to create a melody, and when a series of proper sensors are activated, a bonus sound appropriate to the current melody is played. The technology that powers this invention is fairly impressive, yet oddly, according to one of the sound designers on the project, the most difficult part was actually getting the plants to sing. Along with voices being triggered by specific motions, the voice feature is also used to alert passerbys of the plant’s capabilities as it will whisper “Hey, over here” in Japanese after 30 seconds of inactivity.

The team behind this project imagines that it can be used as a group musical activity, but their main motivation behind it seemed to be as a creative outlet to allow them to work on something outside of the normal creative constrictions. In short, they wanted to have fun with this project, and they’ve already noticed how much fun others have when they try it as well. Being in nature is very relaxing in and of itself, and when you combine interactive social music in with that, you have a device that can produce sheer joy and pure imagination. In a world where technology seems to be aimed at making our lives more and more stressful, inventions like this that first look like mere novelties are sometimes more important than they appear.