Bits & Bytes
IT'S A GUITAR, IT'S A PLAYER PIANO, IT'S...KARAOKE GUITAR!
So you wanna be a rock-'n'-roll star? Lonestar Technologies, a maker of karaoke machines, has come up with a system that it claims can make an Eric Clapton out of anybody who can play "air guitar."
The Hicksville (N.Y.) company has developed an instrument called The Key. It looks like an electric guitar, but instead of strings, it has six plastic "fins" and white, piano-like keys on the neck. The Key accepts cartridges that contain song tracks stored in read-only memory. Plug in a card, strum the fins, and the device creates the chords for the song you've selected. Lonestar President Lawrence Richenstein says the programming used in The Key cartridges can be encoded onto musical laser disks and rock videos for use in karaoke setups, which would allow lounge-singer wannabes to play along while they croon. The Key will sell for under $400 next January.EDITED BY BART ZIEGLER