Smack Attack Makes Sweet Music By Connecting Your Car’s Steering Wheel And Your iPhone

My car’s steering wheel has taken a beating because of the all the lousy drum fills I’ve banged out on it over the years, and at least one entrepreneur thinks that experience could use a little bit of improvement.

Gregor Hanuschak (who, in a previous life, worked for NASA) has put together a Kickstarter project for the Smack Attack, an in-car gadget that lets users make those steering wheel drum solos a bit more substantial.

Here’s the project in a nutshell: the Smack Attack system consists of two separate parts, a steering wheel cover and an app for the iOS device of your choosing. Once that wheel cover is connected to your iDevice via Bluetooth, wannabe Ringo Starrs out there can trigger preloaded drum samples in the app thanks to eight pressure sensors that are nestled snugly inside the fabric of the cover. Naturally, you’ll also be able to customize the samples that get triggered so you can swap out that snare drum for a Wookiee bellow (because, you know, why not?). Oh, and in the event you’re not traveling alone, the app allows for other would-be drummers to jam at the same time… which could spell disaster for your trip depending on how talented your companions are.

As downright silly as the project seems (just take a look at this early Smack Attack promo, for heaven’s sake), Hanuschak is actually trying to tackle a real problem — that tendency for drivers to space out during long stretches at the wheel. By giving drivers something right in their hands to focus on, Hanuschak hopes that the Smack Attack will keep them from making some potentially deadly errors. Of course, one could argue that sticking a musical toy on a steering wheel presents some safety concerns of its own, so it goes without saying that the Smack Attack isn’t the right gadget for everyone. Hanuschak is looking to raise a whopping $200,000 to bring the steering wheel cover/app combo to market by the end of the year, and (assuming you’re a responsible driver) you’ll be able to claim your own in-car music maker for $149.