Most classical string instruments stopped developing about 300 years ago. Sure we have electric violins and people trying out different materials, but the fundamentals of strings played with a hair bow remain. Instrument hacker Magnetovore wants to change that with his Magnetic Cello, which is played with a permanent magnet "bow" and ribbon controller strings.
The output of the ribbon controllers is sent to a voltage controlled oscillator, which generates an impressively realistic cello-like sound. Magnetovore admits that he's no musician, but I think his creation has real promise. He has even been granted a provisional patent for the instrument.
This is impressive, but I'm not sure if the magnetic cello is entirely original. In many ways, it seems similar to electronic music pioneer David Vorhaus' Kaleidophon from the late 1970s. It also used ribbon controllers for strings, but instead of a magnetic bow, he used a hammering on technique to play the "strings."