Vintage tech devices that never existed

Scott Underwood says:

"The site documents the amazing work my ex-colleague Graham Pullin coaxed from his 3rd-year students in Interactive Media Design at the U of Dundee, to get them to engage with a history of interaction design that is much longer than that of digital electronics, and reflect on the social as well as technological changes that have taken place.

"They researched Lost and Dead Media and built working models (using found objects and MaxMSP on iMacs) of fictitious historical products that might have been lost precursors to modern products and media.

"To underpin their authenticity, they filmed documentaries with archive film footage, and uncovered contemporary photography and packaging.

"I recommend the PRAT Sampler (4-track sampling with wax cylinders), the Case Communicator (laptop/PDA in a briefcase), the Social Communicator (wireless Morse text messaging), the Acoustograph (iTunes over the telephone) and the Zenith Radio Hat (iPod in a hat and walking cane) and, for the video, the PESTER (smart phone).

"Apparently a senior computer industry exec toured the exhibition and believed each of the exhibits (though it was a bit embarrassing, they had been inspired by the ambiguity of the Museum of Jurassic Technology)."

200702141131The Fender Chordmaster is essentially an electronic guitar tutor, which allows the user to learn the elementary chords through listening to the correct sound of them as well as viewing how the chord is played correctly on the display.

The Chordmaster came out in the early 1950's during a time where Rock 'N' Roll was taking over the music industry. Rock 'N' Roll drew a predominantly teenage audience due to their desire to break out of the mainstream and stereotypes of the time. Popular artists at the time included Elvis Pressley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. These music idols heavily influenced the culture of the time including the fashion and attitudes of teenagers. Therefore the Chordmaster was marketed towards the many teenagers who were trying to learn guitar and copy their idols.

The Chordmaster works by the user selecting the desired chord by turning the chord dial, and then they simply pull down the sound lever to hear the chord. On the dial displaying the chord it also shows the position the fingers should be on the guitar strings. The Chordmaster also has a volume control dial and an inbuilt metronome. To hear the metronome the user turns the dial to switch it on and then turns it further to increase the tempo. The metronome meant that the user could play a song with the correct timing.