Totally Cool Jamstik Portable Digital Guitar with MIDI, iOS Compatibility

Coolest thing not at CES 2013: Portable Jamstik from Zivix feels like a real guitar, with strings, frets and MIDI output for connecting to iPad -- great for guitar lessons, practicing on a train, jamming with friends.

Totally Cool Jamstik Portable Digital Guitar with MIDI, iOS Compatibility
Jamstik portable digital guitar from Zivix, featuring MIDI connection, real strings and frets.

Photos & Slideshow

Julie Jacobson · January 9, 2013

The revolutionary new Jamstik prototype from Zivix is a digital guitar that is stealing the show at CES 2013, even though the company pulled out of Eureka Park at the last minute for fear the product wouldn’t be ready.

Unlike most “guitar” type products that connect to smart devices, Jamstik feels like a real guitar with strings and frets, so beginners can develop callouses as they learn how to play with Zivix’s forthcoming iPad program.

The secret is in the infrared sensors on the surface of the fret board. They are so sensitive that they can detect exactly where the fingers are positioned, how firmly they’re planted on the board, and what types of effects are being applied to the strings.

Only the top frets—the ones used 95% of the time—are represented on the board. The goal was to be able to fit the device in a back pack.

Zivix’s forthcoming guitar-lesson software, along with the Jamstik, will provide a great educational tool for beginners. But it’s also a great device for practicing or getting inspired when you’re relaxing at Starbucks or commuting to work. Since it connects with mobile devices via a MIDI, it also works with third-party jamming software.

Zivix itself has been making educational and entertainment apps (JamParty is pretty popular) for musical instruments. The company expects the product will sell for about $299 and is currently looking for “just the right partner,” says Zivix engineer Ed Cannon.

Definitely watch the video below. It captures the IR sensors lighting up—which you can’t see with the naked eye.

VIDEO: Jamstick portable digital guitar from Zivix

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

Speakers · Amplifiers · News · Media · Slideshow · Guitar · Jamstik · Zivix · All Topics
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