Instrument 1 is a MIDI controller, a tool for generating the standard digital music file. But whereas most MIDI controllers are keyboards hooked up to inscrutable boxes, Instrument 1 is shaped like a purposefully vague string instrument.
Typing notes into software can’t capture the totality of writing and performing music. The physical act of hitting a drum or plucking a string or moving yours hands up and down piano keys, on stage or in a tour bus, is crucial to the experience. Instrument 1 wants to replicate that. Pressure sensitive buttons let you strum, press frets, or even hold the device up on your shoulder like a violin. And if you lay it on a surface, the neck acts as a piano/drum kit.
You can learn more on Artiphon’s site