Apple deal with Edinburgh musical toy Skoog

Dr Ben Schogler hopes the link with Apple will boost the Skoog's profile. Picture: Greg Macvean

Dr Ben Schogler hopes the link with Apple will boost the Skoog's profile. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A MUSICAL toy billed as an instrument anyone can play is set to become a Christmas hit after its makers struck a deal with technology giant Apple.

The Skoog – an electronic cube which can be plugged into a PC or laptop – was launched in 2009 and has already proven to be a hit.

The Leith-based firm behind it has now signed a deal to sell it through the online Apple store, which means people will be able to buy the £500 device from anywhere in the world through their mobile phones.

Dr Ben Schogler, creative director of Skoogmusic, developed the Skoog with the help of his business partner Dr David Skulina after the pair met at Edinburgh University.

The musician and psychologist said: “The Skoog is for everyone, from experienced musicians to complete novices.

“Our goal has always been to make music-making as accessible as possible.

“And now the Skoog is starting to be seen as part of the musical landscape, an instrument that people can play.

“Working with a company like Apple will go a long way to boosting our profile and introduce us to a wider range of people who might not otherwise have heard of us. It’s already been picked up by councils for use in special schools and by music therapists.”

The pair received funding from Scottish Enterprise and Edinburgh University and made countless pitches in order to secure investment.

The deal will see the Skoog made available in 21 countries and Ben and David, who are based in a small office in Albert Street, hope to see it expand even further.

The cube-shaped instrument is roughly the size of a hand and plugs into a home computer or laptop via a USB connection.

Users can touch, press, squash, twist or tap the Skoog’s five colour-coded sides to create and record sounds.

With the toy’s software, musical compositions can be created using its sampling, looping and layering features.

It is compatible with Apple’s other music software products, GarageBand and Logic, meaning musicians can share the results of their creativity.

City council education chief Paul Godzik said pupils across the Capital would benefit from using the Skoog.

He said: “I’m delighted that an Edinburgh firm is having such a positive impact on music in schools.”