Fad gadgets: The gizmos putting the prog into progress

A press shot of the UGears hurdy-gurdy


Ugears have been making self-build wooden kits for a few years, with a catalogue consisting of trams and fire trucks. But now they’re moving into the world of musical instruments with this extraordinary looking hurdy-gurdy. It’s cheap, made of wood, snaps together in a stressful hour or so, and allows you to evoke the spirit of Blackmore’s Night in your living room. Ugears describe it as “an indelible symbol of medieval life”, which could also apply to cholera, but this is considerably more enjoyable.



How many times have you missed your flight because you’ve had your eyes shut and your headphones cranked up? Me: never. For those who regularly experience this trauma, SoundBrake is here to “make headphone users less oblivious”. It plugs between the sound device and your headphones, senses ambient noise and automatically pipes through stuff it deems important, eg kids crying, phones ringing and, as the blurb says, “unexpected incidents”. I wouldn’t trust it with my life when crossing a busy road, but it’s a neat trick nonetheless.



When Bang & Olufsen teamed up with Danish brewery Mikkeller, Beobrew was the result. During the two week fermentation process, a speaker was lowered into the tank and a playlist curated by Danish DJ Le Gammeltoft was unleashed. The result: a 6.8 per cent beer that tastes exactly the same as if no speaker had been lowered into the tank. It’s been produced, apparently, for “urban creative music lovers”…


Three gadgets currently putting the prog into progress

Daudi Matsiko geeks out over the best gadgets for songwriters

Fad gadgets: The gizmos currently putting the prog in progress

Rhodri Marsden