The Premise. Your favorite music flows. You wipe your brow with the last dry spot on your shirt before bearing down for that last attempt at nailing this trick, lest the daylight and your body give out. Start your run, compress for the jump, pop, hit the air, and then the silence, the calm, that instant between bad idea and successful trick. Time and sound resume, and you can stop holding your breath. You stuck that! What could make this moment better? How about if your music was more than a backtrack to that trick? What if it was the unique score to that moment?
The Product. The Jalapeño, so named for its cubist resemblance to the spicy pepper, is meant to enhance the extreme sports experience by allowing your movement to remix music; essentially, shredding on a board or bike creates the effect of a DJ mixing. Along with the accompanying Beat Farm smartphone software, it allows your jumps, spins and turns to slow, freeze, cross-fade between tracks, and pan audio between headphones.
The Pitch. A compact (under 3x2x1″), durable, weatherproof design and a seemingly sturdy mount make the Jalapeño viable across a wide range of applications from snowboarding, to BMXing to breakdancing. Its campaign includes multiple endorsements and three videos depicting testimonials, product demos, and brief explanations of operation, but little technical info about how it actually works. The only info about the creators is that they “first met at the University of Pennsylvania’s IPD graduate program.” In fact, technical development information is lacking overall. Not a campaign designed to appease techies, there are only two prototype development photos, and short, broad descriptions of the development state.
The Perks. Early birds will pay $199 for essential equipment (Jalapeño, mount, software), and everyone else can expect to pay $239, or more, for packages that include extra swag like tees and hoodies.
The Potential. This seems like a ton of fun. Who doesn’t want their own personal soundtrack enabling you to mix and remix. Shredding to your own sounds looks like it will add a new element of fun to showing off, but the challenge will be in ensuring that the novelty doesn’t wear off.