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Japan toy makers turn air guitars into reality

Handheld or wrist-attached gadgets use heat and motion sensors to actually make music. Watch out, Eddie Van Halen.Photos: Air guitar rocks Tokyo toy show
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Written by Reuters on
TOKYO--Air guitars just got real. Japanese toy makers unveiled gadgets at the annual Tokyo International Toy Show that, thanks to heat and motion sensors, actually make music.

"This is a toy that allows anybody to sound and feel like a rock star," said Keishi Abe, who was demonstrating Takara Tomy's Air Guitar Pro. Takara Tomy's handheld gadget looks like the top portion of a guitar neck.

Air Guitar Pro has 10 songs, including Deep Purple's Smoke On the Water, programmed to play automatically. It is set to hit the market next month. The device can also be connected to an MP3 music player or a speaker system, the manufacturer said.

Air guitar

Manufacturers also showcased air guitars that can be attached to your wrist and blast music as you move.

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"You just put it on your wrist and shake your arm once so it will play one phrase. In order to play an entire song, you just keep moving your arm so even children can easily play music," said Nana Kaneko, who was playing Air Musician by Tokyo-based toy maker Mega House.

The air guitar, an imaginary instrument used when pretending to play the guitar, has become popular in Japan in recent years. Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke of Japan won the 2006 Air Guitar World Championships held in Finland.

Even robots toys seemed eager to join the craze: at the show were three small humanoid robots that were playing air guitars.

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