How to play the guitar without a guitar, without a bridge, without an amp, without pedals and without a keyboard?
A new instrument that uses a special type of polymer and a special strain of bacteria to grow is gaining traction in Canada, but the makers say they are struggling to sell their product because of its unique features and the price tag.
“We are trying to get our first product out there and hopefully be able to get a small group of people interested in buying it,” said Rob Moore, co-founder and chief executive of Bionis Instruments.
“At the moment, we don’t have any way of getting our product out of the door, and that is not ideal.”
Moore said the company has raised $30,000 in a new funding round, but is struggling to get product in stores and to sell it at an affordable price.
The company said it has only been able to sell about one-third of its products to retailers.
“There is a lot of demand for it, but we are struggling,” said Moore.
“So we are looking to expand our production to ensure that we can bring that demand out.”
He said the idea of using the bacteria to create a guitar bridge originated from the late 1970s.
Bionesics is the first company to use bacteria to make a bridge.
The bacteria, called Lactobacillus paracasei, grows on the skin of humans and on plants.
The bridge is a product of using Lacto-Bruccia and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
The product has become a sensation since it was first unveiled in June.
“It is like a super-high-end guitar, but it is super-low-cost, so it is actually a lot more affordable than many of the other high-end guitars that are out there,” Moore said.
The idea for the new product came from a couple of students from the University of British Columbia in the late 1990s, said Moore, who worked with the students to create the product.
“They came up with this idea of making a bridge from scratch, but what if you can make a guitar out of a different material and you can grow it on the human skin?”
He said that inspired the company to explore the idea.
The new product is made from a special bacteria strain that grows on a skin patch.
It grows at a certain temperature, a specific strain of bacterial, and then when it is dried it becomes a polymer that grows at room temperature.
“When you dry it, it grows the polymer and then you take that polymer and it forms a bridge,” said Kevin Murphy, coowner and chief scientist of BIONISICS.
“You take the polymer, you add the bacteria, and you put it on a bridge.”
The product can be used to make stringed instruments and electric guitars.
It is currently available in a few countries, but Moore said there is no immediate plans to launch it in the U.S. or Europe.
The Lactococcus bacteria strains are used in the construction of the world’s first commercially viable acoustic guitar.
Moore said that the company is currently working with the UBC Engineering Faculty to develop a new strain of the bacteria that will be used for the bridge.
“I think that this strain will do a better job than what we are using today,” Moore explained.
The Bioni Instruments new product has not yet been tested in concert, but that will likely happen once the company can show it can produce enough of the product to make an acoustic guitar that works, he said.
He said they will begin to test the product in concert in 2017.
“Right now, it is a bit of a long road, because it takes a lot to get it in store and to get people interested and to make people buy it,” he said of the company’s challenge to get its product to market.
The other challenges include the product’s design, cost and supply.
“The problem with most acoustic guitars right now is that you have to buy an expensive guitar to play, and the best ones don’t last a long time,” said Murphy.
“But the new one is a very good guitar, and I think the best guitar in terms of quality is the new Bionibac Guitar.”
He added that the new guitar’s design was very similar to a standard acoustic guitar, so there is a good chance that the product will appeal to guitarists who already have a standard guitar.
“People are not interested in these other types of acoustic guitars because of the price, and also because the strings are really fragile and they will break,” he explained.
“This one is actually very stable, so I think that is going to be a very big selling point.”
Moore added that while the company believes it is ready for a new wave of guitars, it still has a lot left to do to make it a success.
“One of the things we are working on is building a really small