Cycling Music Winter Sports

Jalapeño mixes beats to your extreme feats

editors-choiceThe 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.


Crane Elite gives a lift to laptops of DJs, others

The Premise. We currently live in the era of the DJ. With records and CDs becoming a thing of the past, many of today’s most popular DJs “spin” their tracks straight from laptops and MP3 players. Laptops are fragile, though, and sometimes setting them up on stage can be trick. There are many laptop stands out there, but most DJs can agree that more could to be done in order to create the perfect stage-ready laptop stand.

The Product. The Crane Elite Laptop Stand is a sturdily-designed product that is meant specifically to elevate a laptop off of the table it is placed on and pitch it at an angle. Its modular design allows the user to try out a number of different set-up combinations in order to find the one that is right for a given situation, and also features what the company calls an “industry first non-slip spline for rock solid placement. Its telescoping risers are constructed out of carbon fiber and allow for full adjustability, making it possible for DJs of all heights to find the perfect placement solution. The product is also collapsible, which can really come in handy on the evening of a gig.

The Pitch. Crane’s main pitch comes in the form of a video featuring DJs that love the company’s older products, yet have a few things that they’d like to see changed. Telescoping, tightness variability, wider legs and a few other suggestions are suggested; as a Crane employee explains, all have been implemented in the Elite laptop stand.

The Perks. It’s head-spinning how many different tiers of perks are available for the Crane Elite. A pledge of $67 gets the user a Crane Stand Plus, one of the company’s older models, while $150 is the entry level for a first-edition model of the Crane Elite. Pledge $999 or more, and you’ll get an initial prototype of the product. The Elite is set to be released in July 2014, while the older product perks will be shipped in February. The developers are looking to raise $35,000.

The Potential. There’s certainly no shortage of laptop stands for DJs out there — The Roost, another Kickstarter project, seems to serve a similar function. Still, it’s clear that Crane has put a lot of work into the development of this product, as it seems to blow The Roost out of the water in terms of durability. With more and more DJs popping up on the scene, it’s fair to say that Crane likely has a great product on its hands although the price and features will be overkill for someone just looking to prop up their laptop in bed.