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Could this OP-1-inspired ‘smartphone synth’ be the electronic instrument of the future?

Gris Design OP-S
(Image credit: Gris Design/Instagram)

Before you get too excited, this isn’t a real electronic instrument, but many who gaze upon the OP-S - a concept product from Spanish agency Gris Design - will wish that it could be.

Unashamedly inspired by Teenage Engineering’s OP-1, which itself took design cues from Casio’s VL-1, the OP-S is billed as a ‘smartphone synthesizer’ that enables you to create complete productions wherever you go. It’s suggested that this would have audio I/O, built-in microphones, front-facing speakers and a set of three cameras.

Of course, if you have an iPhone, this kind of functionality already exists - there are a multitude of great music-making apps on iOS - but you’ll need external hardware if you want proper audio I/O and MIDI control.

Whether there’s a big enough market for a product like the OP-S for it to come to market is debatable, though, so these images might be as close as it ever gets to becoming a reality.

Check out all the images on the Gris Design Instagram feed.

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