BEIRUT: Lebanese duo Bassam Jalgha and Hassane Slaibi took New York by storm last week when Roadie, their automatic guitar tuner, won the audience choice award at TechCrunch Disrupt NY.
The robotic tuner consists of a handheld metal device capable of automatically turning the pegs of any guitar. The tuner connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app that can analyse the sound of the instrument and ensure it is tuned to a level three times more accurate than detectable by the average human ear.
Jalgha, a self-proclaimed “hardware guru,” has been working on the idea for the tuner since 2009, when he won the pilot series of reality TV show “Stars of Science.” He teamed up with software engineer Slaibi in 2012, and the pair launched a Kickstarter campaign in November that year, hoping to raise enough money to go into production. By the time the campaign closed they had raised close to $180,000, almost three times their target.
Since then they’ve had one success after another. Having won first place at the TechCrunch Beirut MeetUp in March this year, they travelled to New York where they won the coveted audience choice award on May 5.
The team is currently manufacturing the tuner in time for a July delivery to their Kickstarter backers. They are also accepting pre-orders on their website: www.roadietuner.com.