Dubbed the ‘TurnT’, this is a portable speaker with a physical stylus attached that can be synced with your smartphone to create the ultimate vinyl experience, as your smartphone acts as the turntable itself.
It can act as a normal vinyl player, but just virtually. The music still plays out of the speaker attached as normal, the song or album can be changed by flicking through a virtual library, the physical stylus is used to ensure the vinyl can start playing, and the stylus can be repositioned to change the song.
This new ideal is part of Yamaha’s new idea collection called Stepping Out of the Slate — where ideas have been put forward to make music devices which are compatible with smartphones. The aim is to have these devices more accessible and more tactile than a full-sized version.
Other products in this idea series include a ‘Winder’ that plays just one song from your phone when wound up; a candle which alters the music played on your phone depending on the flicker of the flame; and robots that make acoustic sounds that can be synced to the sounds you’re currently making yourself.
On its website, Yamaha says: “In recent years, thanks to advances in information technology, new music experiences and music accessories are now offered by various smartphone applications.
"While these services are widely accepted for their convenience and are replacing traditional devices, we believe there is still a longing for more substantive and tactile interaction that cannot be achieved with touch panel operation.“
In October, Mixmag published a deep-dive investigation into the rise and fall of physical vinyl and sales. It ultimately finds and argues that the vinyl industry in its current state is unsustainable and that there is a scarcity of resources and a growing amount of labels who are ditching vinyl releases altogether. Read it here.
Find out more about Yamaha Design Lab’s ideas here. Watch a video about the smartphone turntable below.