Updated: 06/02/2014 10:22 AM
Created: 06/02/2014 6:34 AM KSTP.com
By: Steve Patterson
In the video above, that’s not a guitar-shaped video game controller; it's a wireless digital guitar with real strings and real frets making real music for mobile devices. While making music on an iPad isn't exactly new, it can be limiting, and it doesn't always sound the way you want.
Chris Heille is a music product specialist for the locally-based tech company Zivix, and he thinks they have a breakthrough product on their hands in the Jamstik.
"Let's do something that nobody else is going to do, and let's do something that embraces mobile,” he said.
The 15-inch digital instrument is ready-made to connect with iPhones and iPads. As far as it being mobile, consider it airplane-tested. “I’ve played this on a Sun Country Airlines flight. Row seven. Seat b. In between the window and the aisle,” Heille said.
And he wasn’t just pushing buttons; he was playing the real thing. The Jamstik allows you to bend its strings and to play vibrato, but Heille says it doesn’t require the upkeep of the real thing -- no tuning required, and the strings don’t break.
Because they're home grown, they don't break the bank either.
"We have a lot of people that go, ‘You should be here in Silicon Valley,’ but we're not because this is home for us in the Midwest," Heille said. "I've lived all over the country and I wouldn't really want to be any place else than here."
Jamstik has deals with a couple of big retailers in the works, and if all goes according to plan the Jamstik will hit store shelves this July. If it ends up changing the way music is played on mobile platforms, we’ll have a Minnesotan to thank.