Whenever I throw a party at my home I like to add a unique element that will set my shindig apart from the pack, even having hired a caricature artist at one such soiree. New to my arsenal of merrymaking methods is The Beamz
($199.95) - a true must-have for anyone who likes to entertain with great music and get everyone involved in the fun.
The Beamz is a digital musical instrument innovation like none other, and experience or expertise need not apply. Using cutting-edge laser beam technology produced and manipulated with a sleek, futuristic console, The Beamz lets anyone - and I do mean anyone - make beautiful music, without having to read traditional sheet music! Users simply move their hand - or any other body part - through one or more of the instrument's six laser beams and, in return, The Beamz delivers different musical sounds and notes that are always on key. Adding to the excitement are the unique sounds users can create that cannot be produced from a "regular" musical instrument - from jungle animals to thunderstorms.
Software and music installation is surprisingly easy, allowing users to get set up and running in just a few minutes. The lightweight, portable W-shaped console connects through a USB port to your PC (with Vista or XP 32-bit operating system), which then serves as The Beamz motion-activated PC-based software controller and sound system. Use The Beamz with a laptop and the unit can be easily transported from space-to-space, either indoors or out. For you Mac lovers, a compatible version is expected to launch in 2010.
Once connected, users can start making music immediately. While The Beamz comes with an array of bundled tunes, users may visit the company's Web site to buy and download additional songs or even record their very own original songs made with The Beamz. Users can actually save their original compositions as a Wave file or Windows Media file and share them with others online or via portable devices that support these file formats.
The Beamz is a wonderful gift for all ages and skill levels - from kids and adults interested in learning how to play a musical instrument, to professional musicians, DJs, and music educators, to gamers who love to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band, to amateurs and enthusiasts like myself who love gadgets and like to spice up an event or an evening at home with the kids.
The company offers free online trial software for consumers to test drive the interface before purchasing the product. Those who do buy The Beamz also get 30 original songs on two CDs, five additional free-for-download songs upon site registration, a quick start guide and instructional DVD. In addition, the company's online library offers access to more than 100 songs for purchase across multiple genres - rock, jazz, blues, reggae, country, hip hop, Latin and classical, featuring original tunes, top hits and kid-friendly selections. Here is a sample of some of the pop artist's and kid's songs that are available:
Don't Mess With My Heart in the style of Black Eyed Peas
Viva La Vida in the style of Coldplay
Mercy in the style of Duffy
Hotel California in the style of The Eagles
Rock & Roll in the style of Gary Glitter
I Can't Go For That in the style of Hall & Oates
Imagine in the style of John Lennon
Rock Your Body in the style of Justin Timberlake
Funkytown in the style of Lipps Inc.
Every Breath You Take in the style of The Police
SOS in the style of Rihanna
Isn't She Lovely in the style of Stevie Wonder
Play That Funky Music in the style of Wild Cherry
Kids Songs: Bingo, If You're Happy, Yankee Doodle, Twinkle Twinkle, I Like To Move It
What are you waiting for? Visit www.thebeamz.com to get your groove on!
- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor
The Luxe List product, service and travel review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating "musts." Submissions are accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com. View all of Merilee's Luxe List articles from here (scroll to page bottom).