As any musician can tell you, instruments and audio equipment isn’t cheap, and amps, cables, and distortion and effects pedals can add up fast. Knowing this, London-based freelance industrial designer and creative director at Studio Elk, Tony Elkington was inspired to dream up a solution to this exorbitant reality, calling on a host of modern tech to deliver a compact all-in-one gadget that contains a myriad of digital hardware and equipment.
Called the “JACK,” the gadget consists of a smart 1/4” jack and a set of wireless earbuds — all of which feature touch-capacitive tips that allow for tap and swipe controls. The JACK is essentially a wireless guitar amplifier and transmitter, though it also pairs with a smartphone app that allows users to select from a bevy of digital effects pedals, amplifiers, and guitar types. The JACK functions similar to Reason music production software, emulating tangible audio hardware. A smart and intuitive touch control system lets users toggle through preset effects or sounds, just like when using tangible hardware. Elkington says this smart music gadget’s existence has been made possible by recent breakthroughs in zero-latency transmission, which can now afford rich enough sound to properly replicate the qualities of traditional gear.