Graduate entrepreneur launches tablet music sheet reader

A graduate has launched the first purpose-built portable music sheet reader with a 22 inch screen to allow musicians to perform without frequently refreshing the page.

Martin Smith at the hive demonstrating his sheet music reader app
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Martin Smith at The Hive
I'm sure the zik is a product which will be sought after

Phil Clarke, at The Hive

A graduate has launched the first purpose-built portable music sheet reader with a 22 inch screen to allow musicians to perform without frequently refreshing the page.

Martin Smith, 47, has been supported by Nottingham Trent University's centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship, The Hive, to get his product, zik, off the ground.

An MSc engineering management graduate from the University's School of Science and Technology, Martin and his team spent five years developing the product and they aim to raise £35,000 to build the first line of ziks.

"As an engineer I've always been fascinated by the migration from paper to digital," said Martin.

"After working closely with musicians, it quickly became apparent that the market is crying out for a purpose-built reader with a screen larger than those available with most tablet or laptop computers.

"By giving people a 22 inch screen, it replicates the actual size of sheet music and displays two sheets at a time.

"This allows musicians to play without frequently turning the page and makes the screen more readable.

"It's the same format that musicians have used with sheet music for hundreds of years.

"What we're doing is adapting the technology to suit the musician's needs, rather than the musician having to adapt to a new technology."

The reader - which features a high resolution light emitting diode (LED) touchscreen and has two gigabytes of storage – allows people to download sheet music from the internet and store it electronically on the zik. Old paper copies of sheet music can also be stored on the zik if they are scanned externally, reducing the need to carry books.

The reader turns the page instantly when the musician touches the screen. A feature can also be used which allows the musician to change the left hand side page first, without changing the right hand side page, removing the temporary 'blind spot' which occurs when turning both pages at once.

The zik is also compatible with most foot pedals which can eliminate the need to touch the screen completely.

"We've designed something which has the potential to revolutionise the way musicians consume sheet music around the world,” said Martin.

"It's designed to be used by any type of musician and we've had very positive feedback from people who play various instruments.

"Its lightweight and slim design makes it easy to carry and it can stand on various surfaces, giving flexibility.

"We're very excited to launch it on the market and think that it will provide people with an excellent experience and good value for money."

Martin spent 12 months working with The Hive on its enterprise programme.

Phil Clarke, student liaison enterprise advisor at The Hive, said: "Martin has spotted a niche in the market and I'm sure the zik is a product which will be sought after by many people.

"I really do hope that he's able to raise the required capital now and go on to make it a real success."

Zikmusic Ltd is seeking investors and contributors to its campaign and consumers can pre-order their own zik now. Visit zik music for more information.

Graduate entrepreneur launches tablet music sheet reader

Published on 15 October 2014
  • Category: Business; The Hive; School of Science and Technology

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