With a body shape based on half a pair of sunglasses, Rob O'Reilly's guitars were already a little… out there, but the Irish entrepreneur has now officially upped the ante with the Expressiv Infinity, which he has dubbed "the world's most advanced MIDI guitar system".
Promising plug-and-play interactivity with any sound-generating module, the Expressive Infinity fuses traditional guitar traits - if not looks - with an onboard track pad, fretboard scanner and fully polyphonic MIDI capability.
The guitar packs a 16Mhz processor, which promises to send notes in 100th of a second for minimal latency, while its 'Infinity Mirror' body provides interactive control indication, not to mention a mesmerising light show for audiences.
Most impressive is a built-in fretboard scanner, which detects notes as soon as a string touches a fret for synth-like hammer-on techniques (a regular pick mode is also available), while the trackpad - located just below the neck pickup - maps to MIDI control parameters for real-time tweaking.
The upper part of the guitar's body plays host to controls for octave shift, tuning change, infinite sustain note holds, MIDI volume, a pitch bend/modulation joystick and fretboard scanner play mode, as well as regular guitar volume and pickup selection.
Speaking of which, the Expressiv Infinity boasts "professional-grade single coil pickups" - likely the same Wilkinson WVSB and WVSM single coils as the BE Guitar - plus locking tuners, a tune-o-matic-style bridge with through-body stringing, and balance bar, for even weight distribution. There's even a pick holder.
Outputs include USB, MIDI and standard 1/4" jack, while the onboard battery lasts around three hours with the Infinity Mirror body on, six hours with it off.
There's a staggering amount of flexibility here - adjusting parameters by bending strings, multiple tunings, turning individual strings on or off - but it all comes at a price, namely €1,499 (roughly £1,200/$1,700), available to preorder from Rob O'Reilly Guitars. Still, given it can reproduce an entire band's worth of instruments and provide a light show to boot, that doesn't seem too unreasonable to us...