Three gadgets currently putting the prog into progress

An image of the beosound shape


Our relationship with voice-operated technology has been a bit rocky. It tends to be defined by frustrating exchanges that end with the gadget saying, “I didn’t catch that” and you hurling it into a skip. However, Amazon’s Alexa has become a global hit, and as a result we’re more open to the idea of asking disembodied voices for music selections. Vinci is an attempt to ride that wave; it’s an all-in-one headphone and smart assistant. Reviews indicate a few teething troubles, but it’s a shape of things to come.


Bang & Olufsen are known for combining high-end audio systems with sleek Scandinavian design, and their work may have reached an absurd pinnacle with the Beosound, a modular hexagonal speaker system which hangs on the wall. The speakers, amplifier, hub and acoustic dampers are each contained in a hexagon, which you arrange however you like, allowing you to recreate an eye-wateringly expensive version of Blockbusters in your living room.


There are charlatans among us who believe that all guitars sound the same. The angular cool of the Jaguar, the distinctive lines of the Gibson SG, the faint absurdity of the Flying V, they all go ‘twang’, right? Well, in the case of Pons Revolution guitars, that’s certainly true; the electrics stay the same, but you can snap on various shaped bodies. Guitar fetishists would call it a gimmick, but I’m open to such ridiculousness.

Fad Gadgets: The gizmos currently putting the prog in progress

Fad gadgets: The gizmos currently putting the prog in progress

Fad Gadgets: Earin M-2 earbuds, Gecho synth and Stylophone Gen X-1

Rhodri Marsden