Otamatone Deluxe: Instrument of the Future

For some reason, lost on me, I’ve been seeing the ad below on web sites everywhere. There are several intriguing aspects to this ad. “From Japan.” The mysterious “”ALEXCIOUS” tagline.

There is a gentleman in a lab coat who appears to be a musical ninja.

This was a rabbit hole I needed to jump down. A few discoveries:

  • ALEXCIOUS is a site devoted to vending items from Japan. “Discover the Beauty of Japan” As an admirer of Japan, I appreciate their raison d’etre.
  • The Otamatone is a musical instrument, shaped like a musical note with a smiling face.
  • For vibrato, squeeze the cheeks.
  • The Otamatone Deluxe costs ¥6,980 JPY or $86.
  • An excellent informational video has been provided
  • Omatone is running a video submission competition with high quality entries. My personal favorite below:

Robot boss (complete with lasers) in the office

We have an Anybots robot with telepresence. When I’m not at the office, I can log in through a browser and I drive it around. It balances on two wheels, and it’s six feet tall. I see through its eyes and ears, and it’s got a screen, so people can see me. And so you can have casual conversations at someone’s desk through the robot. It’s got a laser pointer, so you can shoot lasers, which is just good design. You shouldn’t build a robot without a laser.

via Phil Libin of Evernote, on Its Unusual Corporate Culture – NYTimes.com.

I have been an Evernote user for four years. It’s a fantastic service. This piece highlights many positive attributes of Evernote’s culture that would be worth copying into most organizations. And yet, on balance, I am glad that I have not yet had a boss who uses a robot to monitor employees and shoot lasers around the office.