Meet Artiphon, the Guitar That's a Piano...or Maybe a Drum (VIDEO)

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Is it a guitar, a keyboard, a violin or a drum?

More important, perhaps: Is it in your future?

The Artiphon Instrument 1 is a universal MIDI controller that lets you play it however you want: as a guitar, a keyboard, a drum kit, a violin, or anything else you can think of. Just connect it to your smartphone, tablet or computer and Artiphon lets you play hundreds of apps, like GarageBand, using common gestures like strumming, tapping, bowing, sliding and more.

Now, granted, it’s no substitute for the true feel of a guitar—nothing beats putting your fingers on real strings and feeling the guitar vibrate beneath them. But apparently, a lot of people think this is going to be huge. The Nashville-based company doubled its $75,000 Kickstarter goal in just 24 hours. The campaign runs until April 10, about 38 days from the time of this post, so Artiphon is well ahead. 

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While the Artiphon lacks the traditional materials and features of a guitar, it has more than a few things going for it. It should prove to be a handy composition tool, allowing guitarists to switch between their instrument, bass, drums and anything else they need. And any traveling guitarist who needs a small instrument to record with could find the Artiphon is just the ticket for trips and tour buses. Spontaneous performance is also possible, since it has its own built-in speaker. 

In addition, the device is ambidextrous (good news for lefties), lightweight and self-powered.

Some of you may recall that Artiphon demonstrated the device at NAMM 2013, though it was a wood-bodied instrument with a rustic design (see video at bottom). We’re not sure how this new design differs functionally from the old, but its new sleek and clean design is in keeping with the current aesthetic for computer-related hardware and MIDI controllers.

Check out the video below and visit Artiphon to learn more.

Go to around 1:49 in the video for a brief demonstration of the Artiphon used for fingerpicking. Hopefully the company will eventually upload new videos that show the Artiphon used as a guitar. 

And here is the Artiphon as it was demonstrated at NAMM 2013.