We’ve all done it, right? You’re at a traffic light, and the song on the radio has some amazing drumming going on, and you can’t help but join in. There’s no shame in being a steering wheel drummer, and in fact, someone out there even has a plan to enhance the experience.
A man by the name of Gregor Hanuschak has invented an electronic drum pad called RITW, for “Re-Inventing the Wheel”. This invention, with the help of an iPhone app, sends various drum sounds through the car stereo speakers by way of an FM transmitter, or an in-line jack if you prefer. There is a respectable array of options as far as the sounds that you can get out of the RITW. Not only is there every drum sound you can think of, but several novelty sound effects, such as Chewbacca’s howl. These are probably only funny the first time, but we’ll give them full marks for creativity.
Of course, having this much fun behind the wheel might seem like a distracting (and therefore hazardous) proposition. However, the developer of this gizmo maintains that it can actually increase a driver’s attention and awareness in situations where they might otherwise be at risk for “highway hypnosis”, in which a driver’s focus is dulled in very long or repetitive driving. Indeed, the inventor says in a promo video that he got the idea for the RITW because he suffered from highway hypnosis himself.
At $149, it may not be the least expensive way to keep your eyes from glazing over on long trips. On the other hand, it’s a small price to pay to be able to drum along with John Bonham, and get a better sound out of it than a dull thud.