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Samsung to Debut 'Smart Guitar' with Light-Up Fretboard

Samsung Electronics will unveil a "smart guitar" system known as ZamStar at the consumer tech trade show CES 2022, Guitar World reports. The convention takes place this week from January 5–8 in Las Vegas.

The product's purpose is to simplify learning and collaborating on electric guitar. Described as an “integrated smart guitar and online jamming platform”, ZamStar consists of a custom electric guitar, the ZamString – which sports fretboard LEDs that light up to guide playing based on the input of a song.

There's also an accompanying app in which the user can record, edit and share licks with other ZamStar users anywhere in the world. The platform is said to feature several collaborative jamming functions, including the ability to play back up to four instruments (including vocals) at any time.

Little else is known about the ZamString instrument itself or how it will work with ZamStar. More details will ultimately be released during CES 2022. Mock-ups of the instrument show a black, Tele-style guitar with a humbucking pickup in the bridge position and a single-coil at the neck.

While the ZamStar concept is significant given it has the weight of Samsung to back it up, LED lights installed on the fretboard of a guitar is nothing new. In 2017, Edge Tech Labs unveiled the Fret Zeppelin – now called the Fret Zealot – an app-enabled fretboard accessory that guides guitarist's hands using LEDs while they play. Last year, Scale the Summit's Chris Letchford unveiled a new guitar with a programmable LED fingerboard for a playthrough of the band's single, "Jackhammer Ballet."

"We're working to make it easier for people to share and empathize with music inspiration," a product designer says. "Our goal is to allow not only experienced musicians, but also those who are just starting out in music to get together and share their music stories."

The narrator in the demo video adds, "The key problem is that it takes too long to practice music skills and becomes easier to lose interest while playing alone...The smart guitar ZamString and online jamming platform ZamStar that can solve this problem."

To watch the demo video, read more information, and see additional photos of the ZamStar, check out Samsung's C-Lab website here.

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Article Image: Promotional photo of the Zamstar guitar. There are blue LED lights within the fretboards as a person picks at the instrument. (via Samsung.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey