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Design Technology at the Intersection of Art and Science

TouchTunes Virtuo: The SmartJuke

Music is the stuff of cultural reflection, personal identity, and universal connection—how many times have you asked someone what they’re listening to lately? But somewhere along the way, the jukebox, that beloved piece of Americana, lost its edge. Though they serve up thousands of songs, today’s jukeboxes frustrate users with complex and tiresome interfaces, overwhelming music catalogues, and an overall experience that has become generic and less engaging. The jukebox needs to modernize in order to engage with users who are accustomed to digital, on-demand music selection and curation.

Enter the TouchTunes Virtuo. TouchTunes tapped frog design to reinvent a cultural icon that connects people with the music and entertainment they love, reinvigorating the social experience of listening to music in a bar or club. This new music hero needed a thoroughly modern design in both its form and function that successfully captures the engagement and spirit of vintage jukeboxes, yet matches the shifted expectations that users have of digital music experiences.

“Virtuo is a ground-breaking device that will redefine entertainment and change the way media and content are consumed,” said Charles Goldstuck, CEO of TouchTunes Interactive Networks. “It’s a SmartJuke, for a smart audience.”

Instead of frustrating the user with endless lists and alphanumeric scrolling, the Virtuo has a fun, game-like interface that offers several new ways to browse and search music catalogues. Also, the Virtuo interface can be customized to the venue by letting staff input a selection of their favorite songs; so the punk rock bars can stay angsty and the country bars can stay gold.

The industrial design leads the user to the screen interaction and the signature Play button, then to the touch points around the credit card and bill collector slots. An LED array above the interface screen and ambient lights help draw users to the jukebox from a distance while blending in with the environment’s ambience. The slightly angled, landscape-format touchscreen promotes a “shoulder to shoulder” experience with friends and has an integrated camera that turns the juke into a photo booth.

For the consumer who isn’t sure what to play, the jukebox’s smart interface is designed to inspire them. Using contextual data for all songs, users can search by lyrics, and explore songs in a 3D contextual web that links genre, chronology, influences, and geography to re-connect and remind them of music that they love. Additionally, Virtuo lets users build and edit their own customized playlists onboard or from their MyTouchTunes account.