Take a Chapman Stick, add a lot of tech in its belly and jam a USB cable up its jacksie and you get something that looks vaguely like an INSTRUMENT 1. It’s a completely new type of musical instrument developed by Artiphon. Funded through a seven-figure Kickstarter campaign, the instrument is shipping now, and we can’t wait to see what people will be creating with it.

The campaign has seen a number of setbacks and delays, mostly around a familiar theme: Going from prototype to mass manufacturing is really hard. Trying to figure out how to work with manufacturing partners, especially, can be tremendously difficult, as the company’s letter to its Kickstarter backers a few days ago explains. It looks like the problems are now a thing of the past, however, and the company’s INSTRUMENT 1 is now available to order for a surprisingly modest $400.

Trying to explain what the instrument actually is is easier said than done. It can be played as a guitar or as a keyboard, but it also has pressure sensitivity and an accelerometer built in, which can add a layer of creativity on top. In fact, just watch the video to get a feeling for why musicians are both scratching their heads and wetting themselves with excitement over this new cornucopia of creativity.

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