New KalimbaGo Part Kalimba, Part Video Game

Off Topic: Evie Innotech has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the KalimbaGo – a new instrument that’s part Kalimba and part video game.

The KalimbaGo pairs a traditional Kalimba thumb piano with a Wi-Fi enabled computer & screen. The interface can be used to tune the KalimbaGo and also for learning to play the instrument using a video game-like interface.

Pricing and Availability

The KalimbaGo is available to project backers for about $70 USD.

Note that crowd-funded projects involve risk, see the project page for details.

10 thoughts on “New KalimbaGo Part Kalimba, Part Video Game

  1. As we’re getting close to my favourite day of the year (aka “believe everything you read” day), I get to wonder if this is a real thing. Are 17-tine mbira/kalimba models that standardized that you can actually fit this on? Are they poking fun at ROLI for their hype about LUMI?

    Something’s off, here.

    A (software) game showing which tines to play, sure. In fact, it probably makes more sense with a fixed-pitch instrument than with, say, a guitar. A hardware device to attach to an instrument which is very often built by hand and comes from diverse traditions across a large geographical area with a wide variety of tuning systems? Hmmm…

    (Disclaimer: I’m an ethnomusicologist.)

    1. It comes with both the screen and the kalimba, so they’re designed to work together. I don’t think they’re saying it will work with any other kalimbas.

      It would be interesting if the electronic tuner supported non-western tunings.

      1. > It would be interesting if the electronic tuner supported non-western tunings.

        Well their demo real above is entirely CGI which means they don’t even have a prototype and this is one of _those_ sorts of Kickstarters.

    2. The mass market ones definitely are. My mother went on a phase last year where she was buying kalimbas left and right (don’t ask me why), and there’s basically two kinds, the wooden ones show above and clear plastic acrylic. Sold by dozens of brands but their paperwork and tuning hammer are largely the same so I assume they’re out of the same factory in China, and the dimensions are about identical. At any rate this comes with a kalimba so you’re covered there.

      (I prefer the acrylic ones myself… beautiful ping, longer sustain).

      There are of course exceptions even before getting to the handmade ones — my mom has this ~11-key Russian one in I think a B pentatonic minor scale that I can get lost in for hours — but yeah if you buy one off Amazon it’ll probably be one of these standardized ones.

  2. Totally absurd product but the price makes it worthwhile as an amusing conversation piece. Assuming it is ever delivered.

  3. This is this company’s first kickstarter, so I doubt this will go smoothly at all. Kickstarters that involve hardware/software are notoriously bad at getting successfully completed.

    Besides that — I don’t think it works. Go watch the video. The notes have like a one inch space to drop through. There’s not enough space to properly show timing.

Leave a Reply