The Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 is a first-of-its-kind accessory for the iPhone. There are a slew of musical apps for the iPhone, from ones that turn your phone into a piano, harmonica or tuner to ones for recording your compositions, but this new accessory combines the ability to compose, perform, record and share all within one.
The INSTRUMENT 1 can be played as five different string instruments: guitar, mandolin, bass, violin, & lap steel. The sustainable hardwood body fits an iPhone 5 in the middle, making it a touch-responsive instrument that reacts to the force of strumming or tapping, along with a virtual fretboard.
The makers have this to say about the device: "The INSTRUMENT 1 extends the functionality of hundreds of apps and allows for extraordinary flexibility in a single device. Songwriters can compose several parts and layer multitrack recordings, right within the instrument itself. Performers can now move freely around the stage with more expressiveness and versatile connectivity. And students can learn multiple instruments at once with a revolutionary ergonomic design and instrument-switching capability. "
The device is meant to resemble a traditional stringed instrument, but it also houses high-quality speakers and a class-D amplifier, volume and octave controls, and inputs and outputs for headphones, microphone, ¼-inch stereo instrument cable, MIDI in/out, and USB. It's compatible with any CoreMIDI-enabled iOS app and thousands of audio apps and can be used with Garageband, ProTools and other recording software.
A rechargeable battery powers all these features.
The INSTRUMENT 1 is set to go on sale in early 2013 at "a price point under $1,000," which means it will be close to $1,000, but if it can really act as five stringed instruments, then that would be quite the bargain.
Below are a couple more teaser photos of the INSTRUMENT 1. More detailed photos will be available when it's officially released.