bz100_pip The Sharper Image, a source of various amusing musical oddities over the years, now has a ready-to-use USB laser harp music controller for PC (Windows XP/Vista), at the price of — wha? US$599? Yes, this is obviously Sharper Image exercising the business and marketing acumen that allowed it to — erm — file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

And, in a move we haven’t seen in years, they spell the name with a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s.’ Classy. And they’ve opted for a design that looks like the security fence in Jurassic Park.

The beamz Music Performance System @ Theremin World

Not sold yet? Read this feature and drool:

Choose a complementary rhythm track from 30 original songs in 19 music genres, including jazz, bluegrass, classical, hip-hop, reggae, heavy metal and more.

And it all “brings families and friends together through highly personalized music performances that elicit joy and excitement across all ages.” So, is $600 really so much to ask if it saves your family?

Make Your Own Laser Harp

As it happens, you can make a much cooler (okay, not saying much — a cool) laser harp on your own, as Stephen Hobley has done:

Stephen Hobley’s *awesome* laser harp [ladyada's ranting]

Click through to comments for more details on the project and how-to info.

Updated: Stephen’s site is back up, so go have a look. The project uses the very inexpensive Boarduino Arduino clone. I’m an Arduino vet but just picked up a Boarduino, so I’ll let you know when I do something with it.

“Totally awesome” as this may be, I still feel somehow unsatisfied. And then I know why:

Someone needs to do a laser tag harp. Ah, that takes me back. Anyone?

Photo: carinemily. And they say this whole 8-bit music thing is about 80s nostalgia? I’ll show you 80s nostalgia.