This is a square screen that can either be held in your hands or set on a table to play. It has a 16 x 16 grid of LED switches, which can be activated to make sounds. A dial and buttons alter the type of sound and the tempo.
"Tenori-On" means "Sound on your Palm" in Japanese. It was created by Yu Nishibori and Toshio Iwai, at Yamaha Center for Advanced Sound Technology in Japan, and became available as a Yamaha instrument in 2007.
In trying out this instrument at the fair, it was a lot of fun to push on individual dots to activate them, and see what the resulting pattern would sound like. Michael is a techie person, and though he has never pursued learning to play music, he said THIS is the instrument for him!
I looked at some different internet videos, to find one that would be a good example of what the Tenori-on can do, and found a really nice rendition of "Kakariko Village" (composed by Koji Kondo) from the video game Zelda- Ocarina of Time. This one also has a simple guitar accompaniment in the background. The artist is Krapo, from Paris, France.
Video (or live performance) is needed to fully enjoy this instrument, as it is interesting to watch all the light patterns that appear on the screen when it is played. Here's Krapo's YouTube video: