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Ovelin paints Finnish PM’s fingernails

Ovelin Ltd. launched their new game GuitarBots to a tidal wave of applause this afternoon at Slush. Last year’s grand prize winners upped the ante by staging a fine performance in celebration of their latest release.

With a live on-stage demo, a guitar-guru ‘Bot’ in the crowd and an uncomfortably large number of attendees adorning rainbow coloured nails, it seems everyone has jumped onboard the Ovelin wagon. Including Finnish PM Jyrki Katainen.


If you’ve ever tried learning a musical instrument you’ll understand that ‘challenge’ is an understatement. Learning is so tumultuous in fact, that according to Ovelin co-founder Chris Thür, 85% of all people who pick up a guitar quit before reaching a reasonable level.  Himself and fellow co-founder Mikko Kaipainen included.

Enter Ovelin; the company intent on changing the way people learn to play musical instruments. Their original app, WildChords has been the number 1 music app in 34 countries, featured in the Sunday Times ’World’s Best Apps 2012’ list, WIRED magazine and TechCrunch. It’s even won a handful of awards.

GuitarBots is Ovelin’s response to a flurry of requests from players who have completed WildChords. Players must learn basic guitar skills on their very own ‘game controller’ (ie. guitar). In order to advance in the game, the  player has to unlock new songs and practice areas by playing songs correctly with a band. This game-like progression makes it fun and motivating to develop real guitar skills.

And what about the nails? GuitarBot can be played online with any real guitar – acoustic or electric – so there aren’t any techni-colour game controllers. Colour-coded fingernails become your guide and controller. Plus they have Jyrki Kaitainen worrying what his Parliamentary counterparts might think.

Text: Katrina Hahling / Image: Daniel Taipale

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