Samsung Is Making a ‘Smart Guitar’ That Has a Light-Up Fretboard

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

As shown in clips on a ZamStar demonstration website from the South Korean electronics corporation, the integrated ZamString electric guitar features a custom fretboard that contains built-in LED lights on each fret, evidently in a manner that will allow new players to follow visual instructional cues from them.

In concert with a dedicated app, it's part of an "all-integrated smart guitar and online jamming platform not only for skilled musicians but also beginners," per a description from the manufacturer. The system will also allow collaboration with other ZamStar users.

However, little else is known right now about the ZamString instrument itself or how it will work with ZamStar. But mock-ups of the axe (see below) show a black, Tele-style guitar with a humbucking pickup in the bridge position and a single-coil at the neck.

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"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 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."

Light-up fretboards on guitars are nothing new, of course, but this may be the first to incorporate it in such an instructional and collaborative way.

Watch the ZamStar demo video here.

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