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Continued: With the JamStik, you can make your own iPad music

The JamStik does it faster because, rather than convert analog signals to digital, it uses infrared light to sense finger motion, Sullivan said.

“The heart of how it works with low latency is the infrared sensors” inside the JamStik’s guitar-like neck, Sullivan said. “We can detect finger motion before the finger touches the string, and that’s the difference.” The company has six ­patents on the JamStik.

But in the end, the Zivix strategy is to ride the wave of mobile device popularity caused by smartphones and tablet computers.

“I used to teach guitar lessons,” Sullivan said. “It was like being a psychiatrist, because I had to listen to the reasons that students hadn’t been able to practice the lesson. I think the mobility of the JamStik will be the key to getting people to practice, because you can just pick it up and practice anywhere.”

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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  • Dan Sullivan, founder of Zivix, held an opened-up model of the JamStik, an instrument that mimics a guitar and connects wirelessly to a computer.

  • Chris Heille, music product specialist at Zivix, showed the arcade part of the tutorial that comes with their product, the JamStik.

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