Though the modern piano has existed since the late 15th century, the overall design of the instrument has gone largely unchanged over the last 300+ years. With this in mind, Roland set out to bring the piano into the modern era, knowing the classic clavier could greatly benefit from an infusion of today’s digital tech, ultimately resulting in the GPX-F1 “Facet” Digital Concert Grand Piano Concept.
The futuristic design was penned by Jonh Chan Kim, an industrial design graduate from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University. Dubbed “Facet,” it won a digital piano design award Roland held back in 2015, though it wasn’t until 2019 that the Japanese outfit began building it. Roland’s team in Hamamatsu opted to outfit the piano with the company’s PureAcoustic Piano Modeling system from its LX700 Series, as well as weighted keys and an advanced flat-panel near-field speaker set up that digitally mimics the audio properties and frequencies of a traditional concert grand piano. The Facet also boasts a large, Android-powered, Alexa-enabled color screen that can display everything from digital music scores to video tutorials, to Roland’s Zenbeats music creation app. While the GPX-F1 isn’t slated for production, it nonetheless demonstrates Roland’s commitment to innovate in its industry.