Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Music Photography & Video
G1 PhoneTar

Photo from Connors934 on Flickr

Do you have a phone with a touch screen? Have you tried out some music applications and found the thing a bit awkward to hold? Last year I saw some people messing with guitar application on their phones at the Boston Fab Lab and it got me thinking. When I finally got around to getting a phone, making a PhoneTar was up high on the list of things I ‘needed’ it for. I did some early testing with the laser cutter for sizing and fit, and the project sat for a while.

When I saw the video of “Kids,” the project got reactivated.

Mine is the G1 model of PhoneTar, and though I haven’t found many instrument apps for it, I have found that it works fairly well as a stabilizer when taking pictures. It can also work on the dashboard as a way of holding the phone while showing maps, but it would need a way different profile for that.

Want to give it a try? Here is a zip file with the Open Office Draw document I used to cut the part and a pdf of it as well:

To turn it into an iPhoneTar, iTouchTar or possibly a BerryTar wouldn’t be too hard, you would need to get measurements of your phone, and change the size and possibly the location of the hole. Different models will have alternate locations for the headphone jack as well.

Looking into the future for the project, I see a need for the right hand to do something. A module down there for strumming or touching contacts would be nice, and could probably be connected to the phone with bluetooth or usb. It would also be nice to have a sound scoop behind the speaker so that it directs the audio towards the audience. A mounted amplifier would be festive as well. It could also be configured for use with the Arduino and Drawdio, both of which can be found in the Maker Shed.

This is not intended to be about a finished project, but rather a step in the Design Process. It does work, but there are many ways it could go from here. My hope is to stir you to action (if you are so inclined) and imagine a new way of seeing your music, phone or other devices. If these ideas gets you thinking, give it a shot and let us know what you come up with!

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Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

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