That laser beam thing at Sharper Image…

by Stephen Hobley on April 19, 2008

Some of you might have noticed that I received unsolicited comments in my YouTube channel regarding the laser harp that’s currently being sold at Sharper Image.

If the over-zealous marketing team had actually approached me first then I might have been more inclined to work with them. But instead they left me with no choice but to delete the comments they had inserted.

If you’ve not seen it, it’s quite… err… interesting…

Click Here to View

Of course, denizens of the ‘net community couldn’t let something as unintentionally amusing go without a releasing their own “mix”…

So anyway I thought I’d better go take a look at this thing. So I called in at Sharper Image yesterday to play the light(tm).

Having watched the video a bazillion times I felt fairly well qualified to get something musical out of the device, and after a few minutes of playing I was pleasantly surprised as to how well the software was able to “pick up” on my musical ideas. Some of the songs are better than others – but music is a subjective thing after all, so your mileage may vary.

The construction is plastic and a little on the weak side, I wouldn’t want to do any serious gigging with this thing. But then I suppose it’s not intended to be hauled around constantly in the back of a truck.

At $599 the price point seems a bit high, and some of the people I talked to in SI seemed to agree. $399 is probably a better price, and well within the discretionary income band.

The only problem I can see is that this is not teaching you to play a musical instrument. The Yamaha WX-5 wind controller ($599) for example can teach you the correct finger positions to play a saxophone, flute, or clarinet.

I was told by one of the investors that there will be a music authoring package available for the Beamz – and this I think is going to be essential for the long term appeal of the product.

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