» TouchTunes unveils compact Playdium
» AMI Continental supports music videos
» Tap TV adds new channels, Tanjarine brings tableside entertainment to restaurants
LAS VEGAS -- For street operators, the main events at this year's Amusement Expo were the exhibits belonging to the two digital jukebox titans. Both TouchTunes Interactive Networks and AMI Entertainment Network used the trade show in late March here to unveil and demonstrate some new products and updates to existing ones.
Both companies took the wraps off new jukebox models. TouchTunes' Playdium is a smaller complement to the company's Virtuo. It features a 23" screen, but its angular back only requires a 13" width to mount on a wall. And because the new box weighs only 67 lbs., one person can handle a physical installation. AMI unveiled the Continental, a jukebox designed for music video. Beyond jukeboxes, TouchTunes showed off its new tableside ordering and entertainment system, while AMI displayed two new channels, and several novel support features, for Tap TV.
PHOTO: Playdium has a quick-release single core module that combines all electronics. The core unit weighs 30 lbs., making it easy to handle.
According to TouchTunes, Playdium combines a revolutionary music experience that allows the jukebox to reflect the musical taste of each venue with a sleek, modular hardware design that dramatically simplifies service and support for operators. Like its predecessor Virtuo, which TouchTunes calls the first smart jukebox, Playdium supports multiple services alongside its music, including mobile apps, Karaoke and PhotoBooth. It features intelligent diagnostics designed to reduce service calls and facilitate remote support. It has a two-piece modular design; the system's core unit can instantaneously be swapped out with a new one and be sent back for repair.
Playdium runs TouchTunes' OpenStage 2 software, which enables venues to match music to their personality through a selection of curated profiles and powerful filtering tools. Over time, the system learns from the music most played in a venue and adapts to highlight the most relevant songs, artists and search results.
"Playdium is a leap forward in design and capability, creating a more personalized in-venue music experience for locations which will allow our operator community to provide a better solution and more value to their customers," said TouchTunes chief executive Charles Goldstuck. "In creating Playdium, we listened closely to the needs of our operators, and developed a smarter jukebox that is also extremely easy to service."
TouchTunes also showcased Tanjarine, a new tablet-based menu, payment and entertainment solution for restaurants. Tanjarine is a revolutionary, integrated dining and entertainment experience that allows guests to place orders, play games and music, and pay their bills, all from portable interactive tablets made available at their table.
Tanjarine is TouchTunes' second foray into portable location-based entertainment. In 2007, the company announced its PlayPorTT series, a cumbersome 17" slate-shaped touchscreen tablet that required a docking and charging station. The product was shelved a few years later. Tanjarine, on the other hand, is a 10" Android system ready to give other restaurant table tablet companies like Ziosk and E la Carte a run their money. TouchTunes believes its music and location know-how will give it, and its operator partners, a competitive edge in this new space. Tanjarine operates as a separate company with an office in Mountain View, CA.
AMI Entertainment is attracting patrons' eyes and is making money for operators with its new video music service. Video was introduced as an add-on product for AMI's Rowe NGX touchscreen jukebox, which broadcasts the visual portion to a TV screen in a location.
PHOTO: The AMI Continental is engineered to deliver a compelling music video experience. It includes a 24" horizontal touchscreen with a credit card reader and dual MEI bill acceptors, three display panels, a VESA mount bracket and a wall-mount bracket. Patrons can choose to play specialized video content on the installed upper screen alongside songs from their favorite artists. The Continental displays an eye-catching attract loop between videos that promotes featured content, along with clips from some of the coolest music videos available for playback. AMI has cleared 10,000 music videos for its library.
Now the music company is offering a new jukebox specifically for video. The AMI Continental has three distinct display areas: a 24" horizontal touchscreen user interface, a center display panel with a camera and microphone (reserved for future applications) and an upper area that holds an HDTV (36"-60", 80 lbs. max.). The main 24" UI station is equipped with a credit card reader and dual MEI bill accepter. Patrons can purchase music video content to play on the installed upper screen.
AMI has also made some enhancements to its mobile app. BarLink users can now access bonus credits that can be used to play free music, much like the bonus credits currently offered on AMI jukeboxes. The app tracks credits over a timed period in a location, not within an individual transaction, and stores them in a patron's account for use in the same location for up to six months. BarLink is now supported in Canada, too.
Additionally, AMI Entertainment has new channels and features for Tap TV, a narrowcast interactive television network for bars and restaurants. The Tap TV Poker connects players to a nationwide Texas Hold'em competition featuring virtual tables with up to eight players, bringing together local players and others across the network. Players view their cards and manage their wagers on their smartphones using the free Tap TV app; TVs in the venue display community cards, bets and hand results, as well as fun poker tips and promotional advertising.
Another new channel is Tap TV Excite, powered by a new ad management system. Tap TV Excite will allow locations to transform their connected TVs into digital signage arrays displaying custom ads alongside hours of viral licensed content featuring extreme athletes and trick-shot masters, among other exhilarating video. Tap TV Poker was expected to complete its beta test and go live in April. Tap TV Excite will be available soon. They join Tap TV Trivia, introduced one year ago.
AMI has made several updates to its operator website, including Ad Manager 2.0. This promotional tool lets operators use their Tap TV and jukebox screens to display custom ads promoting their own events and specials. Creating a custom ad using Ad Manager 2.0 takes only a few minutes and gives operators control over the days of the week, hours of the day and date range that the ad will display. Ads can be displayed on connected Tap TV units and AMI jukeboxes. AMI said that Tap TV operators will soon be able to view reporting for their locations and players. These reports include popularity for each channel subscription (Trivia and/or Poker), player information, and information and statistics broken down by game.
Both updates will be available on amientertainment.net in April.