The success of Yamaha's Tenori-on has demonstrated that high-tech musicians have an appetite for new types of interface, and OTTO, a circular beat-slicing device, is another piece of hardware that does things a little differently.
Currently a working prototype, this was designed by Luca De Rosso as a thesis project for his master's degree in Venice, and was created using the Arduino open-source hardware platform and Cycling '74's Max/MSP software.
Once you've connected OTTO to your computer via USB, you can load up the software app, drag a loop into the appropriate window and then watch as it's displayed visually on the hardware. You can then start manipulating the beat using OTTO's controls.
There are no plans for a commercial release at present, but this is definitely a concept that has potential. Let's hope a manufacturer will be willing to step in and help Luca fulfil it.
You can watch getting started and demo OTTO videos below:
(Via Create Digital Music)