There has been some indications lately that Kraftwerk is moving towards a more futuristic setup than before, at least interface-wise. I'm sure there's more information out there, but let me tell you what I know.
New interface #1, the Tenori-On.
The Tenori-On is an instrument/controller/interface, created by sound artist Toshio Iwai (backed by Yamaha). Mr Iwai is also responsible for the brilliant Electroplankton program for the Nintendo DS. Tenori-On has existed for, if I remember correctly, a few years already, but only as a prototype version. Now, Yamaha seems to be ready for a commercial release of the rather amazing looking product.
We were recently reached by the news that a number of interesting artists, including Mouse On Mars and Atom™, had visited Japan to test drive the machine. And recently, Kraftwerk was added to the list of test pilots.
Here's a video that will tell you everyting you need to know about the Tenori-On.
New interface #2, the JazzMutant Lemur
The Lemur, produced by the french JazzMutant company, is an interesting input device, designed to control real-time computer applications. The multi-point touch screen is said to be completely customisable, allowing users design their own personal control surface. And it looks good, too.
Amongst the "lemurized" artists listed on the JazzMutant web pages, we find our german friends Kraftwerk.
Added together, these two items might lay the foundation for an interesting future of updated Kraftwerk concerts. Maybe, the Tenori-On is the tool they've been looking for to get back to the front of the stage for an old skool performance of "Pocket Calculator"?