Ok, so I had to see this on two separate sites before commenting. I wasn't too sure about it but at the same time I'm not quite willing to puncture the inflatable raft its drifting on as I reckon its concept is an interesting one and worthy of attention. Check the video to see what I mean.

At the same time I can't help but think there have been many faddish like instruments to have come and gone. But here's some stuff that kind of went through my mind after seeing it. You can get more backgound info about its designer here.










My thoughts on it?

Current available alternative options on the market

Full sized velocity sensitive musical midi keyboard. Which basically negates the need for "multi-touch" as any combinations of keys could be played together to create harmonic or disharmonic cords/combinations of notes.


Portable midi keyboards

Ok, using a midi piano/keyboard does become a little limiting when you start to shrink it for sake of portability. Even if you still wanted to use a velocity sensitive musical midi keyboard with full sized keys you're then limited to use of one octave keyset at a time. But even at this size it would still be anything but portable in the sense of being able to pop it into a courier/laptop bag.

However when looking at the musical midi keyboard options that you can actually do that with you're then faced with the problem of it possibly being so small that it can't actually be used as intuitively as an actual instrument. At which point you're either limited to using it as simple one note at a time programming tool for sequencing software that allows you to easily visualize the traditional piano layout or a simple midi trigger device. 



Initial impressions of the Linn strument

It potentially has the capability to allow you to access several octave ranges simultaneously like a full sized piano or musical midi keyboard with a foot print of an A4 notebook and the thickness of one in its testing form. However as to how intuitive it would feel, I reckon that could only be determined over time (in having to get used to it) and any potential assigned layout. But I reckon their going for the guitar feel for the final product.

Its certainly not too small that it would hamper its potential chances of being used as an actual instrument in a live and repeatable manner. That is you know you would reliably get the same/or very similar result by doing a certain operation or gesture but it would still have that margin for unique variation as you would get with a regular instrument through tactile interaction/manipulation.

I guess it has the advantage of being able to apply pitch bend as well as its level of sustain and decay (during the actual pitch bending) with use of single "native" touch gesture. To achieve the same thing with a midi keyboard you would have to manipulate a separate pitch bend wheel. But… it would also mean that all the musically assigned keys would have to be to one side of the device for the sake of standardizing a gesture function. I reckon having multiple gestures in different directions to do EXACTLY the same thing would just makes peoples willingness to use a new device or learn how to use it less forthcoming unless you could somehow incorporate different resulting functions or effects with the different directions. In which case the musical accessible touch points would have to be arranged in an island like configuration with a margin of none musical function keys near the edge of the device (possibly a physical measurement of around 2 inches) to allow for all the same gestures to be used with each musical accessible note in a universal manner.


Other potential cost effective alternative solutions that could yet be created

Ok, so we have the iPad. I guess the only thing that the iPad is missing is pressure sensitive feedback. But everything else as far as this particular Linn strument instrument concept goes could be ported in software form to be used on something like the iPad. But I guess the pressure sensitivity part would be the major key factor in making Linn Strument concept a true musical instrument over any potential iPad port.


Cost

It would have to come to market at a reasonable price. There obviously isn't an LCD display for intuitive and direct visual feedback that would change according to assignment like the iPad or a tablet PC. 

A decent semi portable velocity sensitive musical midi keyboard with full sized keys that only allows you to deal with single or combinations of notes from one octave range at a time will set you back around $160.

A smaller musical midi keyboard with courier/laptop bag like portability will set you back around $60.