Samsung’s internal innovation hub has brought quite an innovative item that was exhibited in the CES 2022. It is 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.
Gadgets like FretX, Populele and, One Piano, have used the light prompts to make the learning of instruments easier. Samsung’s Creative Lab has also recently applied the idea of teaching new guitarists to play a tune by lighting up fret positions on a fingerboard for students to follow.
The fingerboards of many guitars have fret markers along the neck as a visual aid to quickly finding playing positions. In the same way, this C-Lab smart guitar has LEDs embedded for all six strings at each of the guitar’s 22 frets. This system is controlled through 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 app runs the smart guitar and can present tablature onscreen during learning sessions, as well as lighting up the fingerboard. The app can automatically dial in digital effects to match the specific songs.
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 also allows collaboration that enables 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 limit collaborations to those who have a ZamString but can be used by any musician or vocalist. It does not allow real-time collaboration, however. So, the players have to start by building on a single upload to add a percussion track then funky bass lines, keys, a brass section, and so on.
The C-Lab has stated that there are no current plans to commercialize the ZamStar and ZamString projects. They are still internal research concepts.