March 6, 2012
Amidio, the maker of the guitar synth iPad app OMGuitar, is set to release another high-tech implementation of a popular musical instrument. This time, it's going to be a mobile ukulele synthesizer called Futulele. Like OMGuitar, Futulele works on an iPad, but its fullest potential is tapped when used in conjunction with an iPhone. By putting an iPad and an iPhone in a special guitar-shaped case, the two iOS devices can run the Futulele app together via Bluetooth connection and form a sort of makeshift ukulele. The chords can be adjusted on the screen of the iPhone, while the strings of the virtual instrument can be strummed on that of the iPad. As a member of the Amidio team writes in a blog post introducing the upcoming product, "the device composition looks so obvious that we’re wondering why no-one has thought of this before, but still — this is a completely new way of producing music with iOS devices." Agreed. It's certainly one of the most impressive examples of deceptively simple innovation that I have come across in a long time. It also makes sense to pair the two devices, since most iPad users own an iPhone (or an iPod touch) anyway. See and hear Futulele in action in the video below, where it is used to accompany a performance of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love." Note that the case used in the video is only a prototype, as Amidio is still in negotiations with prospective case and speaker manufacturers. If you can't see the embedded video above, please click here. Its fidelity to a real ukulele can use some more fine tuning, but as a concept, Futulele is definitely outstanding. It is obviously a universal iOS app, and it is scheduled for release in early April this year. Futulele is also said to be among the first music apps to be optimized for the upcoming iPad 3 (or whatever it's going to be called). What do you think? Does Futulele have what it takes to make waves in the App Store and great music at your fingertips? Or is it just another amazing but rather silly idea? Is it, as its name suggests, the future of ukulele?