Samsung’s internal innovation hub demonstrated a nifty learning and jamming system at CES 2022 last week called the ZamStar. The app-based setup allows for remote collaborations, while a smart guitar with LEDs embedded in the neck caters for follow-the-lights learning.
Learning to play an instrument is tough, and we’ve seen a number of gadgets that try to make things easier by getting students to follow light prompts – including the FretX, Populele and One Piano. Samsung’s Creative Lab has also recently been toying with the idea of teaching new guitarists to play a tune by lighting up fret positions on a fingerboard for them to follow.
The smart guitar part of the ZamStar equation is being dubbed the ZamString. The fingerboards of many guitars have fret markers along the neck as a visual aid to quickly finding playing positions. Similarly, the C-Lab smart guitar has LEDs embedded for all six strings at each of the guitar’s 22 frets, and this system works with a mobile app to light up finger positions while learning a song to show when and where a string needs to be pushed down.
The smartphone running the app appears to be wirelessly connected to the smart guitar and can present tablature onscreen during learning sessions, as well as lighting up the fingerboard. Exactly how the player is tracked by the system hasn’t been revealed but the app can automatically dial in digital effects to match specific songs.
The ZamString smart guitar works with the ZamStar mobile app to help students learn to play, and jam online with other musicians
The ZamString also hosts magnetic humbucker and single-coil pickups selected by a 5-way blade switch, with an instrument output jack allowing for cabling to a guitar amp. And there are three backlit tone/volume/control knobs.
The ZamStar system is also geared towards collaboration, allowing players to record chops and riffs and upload them to a community platform where others can jam along or the system can stack clips on top of each other to create a shared performance.
The app doesn’t appear to limit collaborations to those who have a ZamString, but can be used by any musician or vocalist. It’s not aimed at real-time performances so presumably players start by building on a single upload to perhaps add a percussion track then funky bass lines, keys, a brass section and so on.
The concept presented at CES 2022 looked about ready to rock, but C-Lab has confirmed to us that there are no current plans to commercialize the ZamStar and ZamString projects, and they remain internal research concepts.
It certainly appears to be a great way to learn guitar and jam with others online. So while we wait for Samsung to commit to production, head over to the source link below for a video demo of the ZamStar system.
Source: Samsung C-Lab