CheckinDJ may be the cure for the bar jukebox dominated by die-hard Nickelback fans. True to its name, it’s a check-in app that uses music preferences from social network profiles to create playlists for coffeeshops and other venues.
Built by Mobile Radicals, a group of researchers and developers at Lancaster University in the U.K., the little jukebox lets users input their music tastes by tapping their phones on the device. The combined tastes of the group determine the playlist, which is streamed from Spotify. The playlist is fluid depending on people’s participation, so no one user can hog the music with their own favorites. There is also a limit on how many times a user can check in, and the majority has to agree on a musical genre for it to get played.
CheckinDJ uses a capability that many smartphones already have – near field communication (NFC), similar to RFID and present for example in the Samsung Galaxy SIII (Samsung calls them TecTiles). Checking in involves tapping the phone to the CheckinDJ “jukebox,” which is built off a Raspberry Pi mini-PC. CheckinDJ can also be used with other NFC-tagged items like library or loyalty cards, and once a few musical genres are selected and a social network identity is input (this happens automatically when using smartphones), the user can enter the jukebox “system of influence,” where they will start to affect the playlist.
Playlist influence increases with each additional linked social networking account and each new connected friend that checks in. The system updates every 20 seconds to adapt to changing group composition and preferences. CheckinDJ sounds like the perfect app to help turn your neighborhood diner into a Harlem Shake flash mob.