My friend Jon Bennett just sent me this awesome promotional video for Sharper Image’s new beamz ™ Music Performance System. Herein we are treated to several scenarios for use and enjoyment of this futuristic product. One character dons sunglasses (inside, mind you) in order to become a one-man rock band, while another partakes in Quiet Reverie in his blue-lit bachelor den (note the leather massager/recliner in the background). Family Fun is also portrayed, though I’m not convinced of the kid’s interest. Finally, we see a woman spastically tossing her hands between the towers, with the message that Everyone Sounds Great as if all women are charmingly unmusical.
I guess what determines where this thing falls on the spectrum between total cheeseball and future cool depends on its functionality. The video seems to suggest that it’s all pre-programmed midi voices that are simply triggered by movement within the beams/z. One youtube viewer wondered this too, and a Sharper Image representative responded in the thread:
The answer depends on the definition of ‘pre-sets’. Yes, the product has voices and samples assigned to each beam, but the music itself is generated algorithmically by the beamz software. The user’s playing technique determines when and how much of the sounds/melody stream is triggered thus creating a potentially different arrangement with each use.
Despite all its drawbacks, I probably would feel pretty cool waving my hands around with this thing. I mean, you know, ironically cool.