Last year's laser violin was the first re-imagined stringed instrument that didn't actually have any strings. And not to be outdone in the orchestra pit of the future, this year it's the cello's turn to get a fancy stringless upgrade. But instead of lasers, the Magnetovore opts for magnets, requiring the musician to play it like a sort of cello/theremin hybrid.
In lieu of a bow, a handheld battery-powered electromagnet is moved across a large, tightly wound copper coil. Depending on the speed, direction and distance of that magnet, varying electric fields are induced in the coil which in turn produces different sounds. And pitch is controlled by the musician placing their fingers along a resistive ribbon running up the neck of the instrument.
The Magnetovore seems like more of a university research project than anything, but surprisingly, if you're a musician looking for a new challenge, you can actually buy one for $US1800. Can someone tip off the Insane Clown Posse about this? It will blow their mind. [Magnetovore]