"A great application of touch technology. I liked the location-specific music features combined with the ability to explore the collection of memorabilia." —juror Ingrid Bernstein
"An innovative combination of social and touchscreen technology with a tactile twist on the old restaurant booth jukebox that lets users thumb through the memorabilia and cast their vote for the next video." —juror Rachel Pasqua
Overview: The Booth Interactive is part of a broader initiative to bring interactivity into Hard Rock's cafes and hotels and give customers unprecedented access to an extensive memorabilia collection—all in mind-boggling detail. The platform is intended to grow over many years and ultimately to extend out to a large number of Hard Rock's worldwide locations. The touch-based interface is mounted on the wall at the ends of the restaurant's cafe tables. Consisting of three apps at launch—memorabilia, music and Rock Shop—it was designed to include additional features over time, so the interface is flexible and the content and software is centrally-managed and easily-updated.
• From concept to completion, the development process took about a year.
• The interactive contains more than 1,200 high-res images of memorabilia as well as video stills for every music video in Hard Rock's system—all dynamically loaded from a central, local server.
• Memorabilia content is served via a central content management system that drives the memorabilia site.
Comments by Michael Lemme:
Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? "Yes and no. At the outset of the project, we had already been working with Hard Rock for five years on nearly every aspect of their brand and marketing. So we had the benefit not only of a deep immersion in the content and culture of the company, but excellent relationships with most of the key players inside and outside the organization. We also had extensive experience in the topic of rock history. But the goal here was to engage guests in that history and contemporary music culture in a completely fresh way. So no matter how much we knew about the brand or music, the push to surprise made the subject new for us every day."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "For such a seemingly simple interface, there is a tremendous amount of human coordination and technical sophistication behind the screen. And in an environment where a computer screen wouldn't normally be welcome, it was critical that it looked great, was intuitive to use and generally wouldn't feel like eating dinner next to a PC. At launch, the platform consisted of 44 booths, 7 Microsoft Surface units, an enormous multi-touch interactive wall and an online memorabilia site. Within just the booth interface, the memorabilia, music and Rock Shop content all come from different systems, with a small army of photographers, writers, designers and technologists making sure that each element looks great and works seamlessly. I'm amazed we pulled it all together."