We’ve seen at least ten companies try to solve the riddle of how to tailor the music in a bar, restaurant, gym, bowling alley, or wherever to suit the taste of the crowd. From posters that skip songs when you throw stuff at them to facial-recognition hacks that find you on Facebook and use your likes to DJ a party, we’ve seen them all.
From what we can tell, their overall affect will be to shape the world to please social butterflies. In other words, the more freely you share your taste with apps, the happier you will be — at least in the sense of your environment reacting to your whims.
The two ideas mentioned above are probably more interesting from a theoretical perspective, for now anyway, but RoqBot’s concept is a bit more concrete: letting people at a venue program the music a song at a time from their Android and iOS devices.
The idea was spawned when the Roqbot co-founders were bowling and didn’t want to have to walk all the way over to the jukebox in order to request another song.
Roqbot co-founder and CEO Garrett Dodge sends word that not only has the company revamped its app, which won “Best Music Tech Company” at SXSW Accelerator 2011, but it recently snagged $1.2 million in funding led by Google Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners.
Venue owners can use advanced controls to tailor their venue’s music to “fit the vibe” there, creating subsets of the catalog from which patrons can select songs. In addition, a new Roqbot Machine Mix can adapt the pool of songs further based on the feedback of patrons of the venue and venue management.
The upshot of all of this: The odds that a song everyone hates will play is reduced, and that should make everyone happy on both sides of the counter.
As for that funding, $1.2 million — a relatively modest sum by today’s standards — that should help Roqbot spread to more venues, although it has already been fairly busy, working with The Gap, Mötley Crüe, and a growing number of venues across the country.
Photo courtesy of Roqbot