This gizmo can automatically tune any guitar in a matter of seconds

A few years ago, Kickstarter was home to a campaign for the Roadie Tuner, a smartphone-connected automatic guitar tuner three times more accurate than the human ear.

“It grew out of a personal need,” co-creator Hassane Slaibi told Digital Trends. “My cofounder and myself were at university, where we met in the music club. He was studying mechanical engineering and I was doing computer engineering. He was playing a 12-string instrument, which was very hard to tune, and one day we started talking about whether there could be a handheld machine that could tune instruments for musicians.”

Roadie Tuner was the result — and went on to achieve success not just on Kickstarter, but also scooping up prizes such as the TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 Audience Choice Award and first prize on the Stars of Science reality TV show.

Now Slaibi and cofounder Bassam Jalgha are back with their Roadie 2 upgrade, which improves on the original in virtually every way. The problem it’s solving remains a common one: automatically tuning guitars so as to avoid taking away valuable playing time from human guitarists.

Roadie 2 is compatible with any string instrument that features a guitar machine head, so whether you’re a 6-string guitar player or a mandolin-plucking hipster you’ll be well taken care of.

“What’s new about Roadie 2 is that it’s both vibration-based, which makes it work in even noisy environments, and also standalone, so you don’t need to use your phone to use it,” Slaibi said. “In this sense, it’s more convenient than the first Roadie Tuner.”

While you don’t have to use your phone, though, users who do won’t be disappointed — since the companion app provides feedback on important metrics like the health of your guitar strings, so you’ll know when to change them.

As to why the team decided to go back to Kickstarter after successfully building a brand, Slaibi had this to say: “It’s a good question. We had a lot of discussions about it. What it came down to was that we first [had] a sense of community on Kickstarter. We really connected with the community there, and they’ve been a great source of feedback to us. We’re incredibly grateful to the people who supported us there with our original product. Without them it would never have been possible. We wanted to come back to the same community, and offer them an early bird discount.”

Given that Roadie 2 hit its funding target of $50,000 in just three hours, and has already doubled it, it seems Slaibi and Jalgha certainly made the right decision.

If you want to pre-order a Roadie 2 or Roadie Bass you can do so now on Kickstarter, where prices start at $79. You’ll never have an excuse for an out-of-tune guitar again!

Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Product Review

Powerbeats3 wireless headphones are all about that bass, and not much else

With the new Powerbeats Pro grabbing headlines, it’s worth taking a look back at Beats’ previous flagship wireless earbuds. Do these popular, bass-happy workout buds still deserve your consideration?
Product Review

Microsoft’s $350 Surface Headphones are a good first try, but not good enough

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones are stylish, comfortable, and have great noise-canceling, but at $350 a pair, they’ll have a hard time matching the industry leaders like Sony and Bose.
Smart Home

Video doorbell alert leads homeowner to confront suspected porch pirate

Video doorbells are doing their bit to help homeowners fight back against porch pirates, as this recent incident in California shows. The motion-activated device alerted the owner, who challenged the suspect right on the doorstep.
Gaming

Get over here and learn the proper way to deal a Fatal blow in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 introduces the Fatal Blow system, which gives players with low health the chance to shift a fight back in their favor. Here is how to perform a Fatal Blow, and how to defend against one.
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Hawaiian botanists’ drone discovers a plant thought to be lost forever

In what may well be a world first, botanists in Hawaii recently used a drone to find a species of plant that scientists believed was extinct. The plant was located on a sheer cliff face nearly 20 years after its last sighting.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s Wing drones now have FAA approval to deliver packages in the U.S.

Alphabet Wing has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA. This means that it can begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S.
Emerging Tech

A battery-free pacemaker harvests and stores energy from heartbeats

Researchers in China and the United States have developed a new battery-free pacemaker which gathers its required electricity from the energy of heartbeats. Here's why that's so exciting.