This month’s fad gadgets
In a piece of preposterous corporate extravagance, Yamaha recently decided to get its two design divisions – motorbikes and musical instruments – to swap jobs and see what they came up with. The instruments are extraordinary; a two-seater marimba called the Fujin, and a frame-mounted drum kit called the Raijin that would make Rush’s Neil Peart weep tears of joy. Absurd, but undeniably cool.
Frustrated table tappers, prepare to open your wallets! The Jambé is a new electronic instrument that looks a bit like a digital steel drum; the surface is divided into ten sections, each of which produce a different hit, sound or tone. Working in conjunction with iPhones and iPads the Jambé is played with hands or sticks. Established percussionists marvel at its sensitivity, while kids just like getting in there and whacking it. It’s billed as a “weapon of mass percussion”.
Speaking as someone who regularly pulls stuff off table tops with trailing cables that I forgot were still plugged in, Apple’s Magsafe power connectors felt like a gift from heaven when they first appeared a few years back. The Magzet is the 3.5mm audio jack equivalent; plug one half into a socket and attach the other to the plug, so connections become slick magnetic clicks, rather than frustrated prodding. You can leave them plugged in, too; your laptop or phone can tell if there’s no Magzet connection and will route the audio through the internal speakers accordingly. magzet.com