Spotify's True Fan Jukebox Turns Your Favourite Band T-Shirt Into Playlist Requests

16 March 2016 | 1:57 pm | Staff Writer

The quirky tech has made its debut at SXSW

Online music service Spotify is infusing its technological innovations with a hearty dose of nostalgia at this year's SXSW event in Austin, Texas, where the company has just unveiled a new contraption it calls the Spotify True Fan Jukebox.

Rather than operating on coins or the brute force of Henry Winkler, the True Fan Jukebox ups the ante and the intrigue by becoming a Shazam-esque request machine for folks decked out in their favourite band or artists' threads. Punters simply stand in front of the jukebox's camera in their band tee, line it up, and the tech does the rest, "reading" the shirt to find and play tunes by the artist in question.

There's minimal information floating around online regarding the jukebox — even Spotify's site is scant on details — other than the fact that it is a fixture of SXSW's Spotify House space this week (featuring the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD, Miguel, St Lucia, CHVRCHES, Hinds, The Kills and more), but a teaser trailer from the company gives a brief look at the behind-the-scenes of putting it together, as well as showcasing its abilities (which are presumably limited by Spotify's artist database).

While there's no indication on how it fares trying to decipher death-metal logos, at least bands with clearly typed logos should fare pretty well in Austin this week. We'll let you know if any action footage surfaces of the jukebox in use and, of course, if there's any indication this wondrous little piece of technology will be making its way to Australia any time soon.

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And hey, if nothing else, at least this should stop the inevitable straight half-hour of November Rain that seems to come pre-programmed on every jukebox we've ever been around.