We heard from our friends over at TechCrunch (thanks, John Biggs!) that a company called Zivix has been showing off a cool little MIDI guitar at CES, so here it is! Dubbed the JamStik, this digital instrument serves the same purpose as the already-available You Rock, except this one comes with real guitar strings, works wirelessly over WiFi, features a lower latency (under 10ms instead of about 20ms, according to Zivix's lab test), and it also has a shorter neck plus a much smaller body for the sake of portability -- even for some casual plucking on the plane. The JamStik also supports string bending thanks to the way it detects finger movement on the neck -- the rows of infrared lights and sensors under the strings make the magic happen.
Of course, you'd need a PC or an iOS device (with CoreMIDI-compatible apps like GarageBand and Animoog) to get the audio, and for the latter, Zivix will be offering three apps: JamTutor guitar teaching suite, JamHero game (very much like Guitar Hero and Rock Band) and Jam Live music remixer. We had a go using a wired prototype JamStik, and apart from the slight delay between our strumming and the audio output (which will be further fine-tuned before going retail), we had a lot of fun with it. Check out the demo videos after the break, and expect to see the JamStik hit the market this summer for somewhere around $249 to $299.
JamStik portable MIDI guitar lets you play and learn on the iPad wirelessly