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Fret Zealot, a Guitar Accessory That Uses LEDs for Guitar Learning and Flashy Jams

Consumer electronics
Education
Embedded hardware development
Entertainment

About

Learning to play the guitar is hard work. One US-based startup decided to change that. They created a full spectrum LED learning and display system called Fret Zealot. The Fret Zealot LED strip is attached to the neck of the guitar, turning it into a display. Colorful flashing lights on the strip show where exactly to put your fingers. The device works together with a smartphone app where a beginner can choose various chord progressions they want to learn. More skilled players can also use Fret Zealot: they can pick songs in the app's library and arrange flashy jam shows for their friends.

Request

To launch the device to the market, the team at Fret Zealot needed to improve the hardware design of their existing product. They also needed to make it compatible with all mass-market full-size guitars, including bass guitars.

Solution

Integra Sources reviewed the existing solution for guitars with scale lengths of 24.75” (e.g. Gibson) and provided improvements to the circuit board. We also developed similar products for 25.5” (e.g. Fender) guitars and for bass guitars based on the initial circuit board design.

Technologies Used

EAGLE CAD IDE was used for Schematics and PCB design.
Fret Zealot has many RGB LEDs, several ATTiny20 MCUs, and connector placed on the Flexible PCB.

Results

Fret Zealot is a long, thin vertical strip in the shape of an oversized comb. It can slip between the guitar's neck and strings without interfering with the user's ability to play. Fret Zealot lets the players learn quickly and intuitively. After a user plays a note or a chord, the app detects the sound and the strip lights up showing them where to put their fingers next.

Fret Zealot had successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They raised more than $600,000 and shipped 1,500 of the $200 devices with another 1,000 orders already placed.

Make some noise

Pledged on Kickstarter

$600,000

Products shipped

1,500

Orders placed

1000

Scope of work

Reworked the PCB design for the existing model

Designed the hardware for bass guitar

Designed the hardware for 25.5'' scale guitar

Got rid of redundant components

Made the hardware cheaper to manufacture

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