Yamaha Design Lab Is Turning Our Smartphones into Record Players

Tech & Gear 2020

As we become more dependent on technology, Yamaha Design Lab has found new creative ways to use our smartphones to immerse us into the experience of playing and listening to music. Following its “Yamaha Sound Machines” concepts from last month, the brand has debuted its “Stepping Out of the Slate” collection, featuring four unique and innovative devices that push the boundaries of technology while bringing us closer to the music.

The most notable piece is the TurnT, a record player that uses your smartphone’s screen as the turntable itself. You simply pick the record you want to listen to and place the stylus down on the screen as you watch the virtual LP spin. It acts as a real-life record player in that you can move the stylus to change the song on the disc (the jury’s still out on whether or not the album virtually scratches and skips). Occupying your device while it’s in use, TurnT forces you to actually pay attention to the music.

Among the other concepts is the Winder, which turns your phone into a music box as you wind the key and release it to play a specific song. The MusicLight is a candle that triggers music when its flame is lit, creating a warm atmosphere for a nice dinner or fireside chat. Lastly, the RhythmBot is a set of four mini percussion robots that sense the tempo of the music you’re playing live or on your phone, accompanying it with individual beats to create the sense of a performance session.

It’s unclear as of right now whether Yamaha will put any of these concepts into production, but all four of the devices have been created as working prototypes.

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