The Mobigat (mobile-guitar) is a portable guitar concept that my Dad and I dreamed up many years ago.
I was extremely fortunate to go on international family holidays growing up in New Zealand. An average flight to Europe is around 36 hours, with at least one stop on the way.
On a trip to the UK, I surprised my Dad and snuck his favorite Taylor Acoustic guitar into my luggage. I thought it would make a fun travel companion and had dreams of jamming with Flamenco guitarists in the streets of Seville, in Spain.
Arriving in the UK at baggage collection, bleary eyed, I found my dad's prized possession had been crushed by the baggage trolley. Graciously, Dad was good about it and the airline agreed to replace his prized possession, but I could tell he was hiding his disappointment.
There had to be a better way. With all of the advances in electronics and software, couldn't I just plug my iPhone in and play guitar without having to transport something so fragile? And wouldn't this be a great way to pass some of the time waiting in the purgatory of a crowded airport, fighting the jet lag with some Slowhand Blues?
It wasn't until my first solo trip back to the USA to my birthplace of Seattle that the idea came rushing back. One of Seattle's highlights is the MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture, right next to the Space Needle. Upon entry into the incredible space inspired architectural building, visitors are greeted with a column supporting the building, covered in guitars of all types. Proceed to the Jimi Hendrix permanent exhibition (another great Seattle born guy)...you won't be disappointed!
This is also where I found an exhibition of famous and unique guitar designs that provided the inspiration for the Mobigat. The designs draw on the unique styles of 60's guitars that introduced the first 'electric guitars' to the world of rock and roll and explores how they could be re-imagined for the 2020's, enabling ultimate portability and usability, integrated with the latest electronics and software technology.
But first, being the freshly graduated engineer that I was, I wanted to think about the requirements in a systematic way.