AMI's John Margold says 1-in-10 is a sure bet
BRISTOL, PA -- Following almost a year of testing, AMI Entertainment's music division has begun shipping the NGX Face Place, an amusement appliance that combines a digital jukebox and automatic imaging services. Face Place is Apple Industries' photobooth brand.
The Next Generation Jukebox, or NGX, a Rowe product from AMI Entertainment Network Inc., is a modular hardware system. The large-format (32" screen), wall-hanging jukebox begins as a 72-lb. base model that can be enhanced internally and externally. NGX's Face Place implementation is the most sophisticated augmentation to the integrated jukebox. It also adds about $1,250 to the base cost, but the operator gets a fully functional photobooth.
NGX Face Place is powered by AMI's Version 3 operating system and Apple's Smile 2.0 software. It houses the same Mitsubishi dye-sub printer used on Apple's photobooths. Like an Apple photobooth, the NGX can detect patrons walking by the unit and invite them over to take a photo. Photos and video can be shared by email and social media. The piece measures 71.5" H. x 28.875" W. x 14" D., and supports coin, banknote and cashless payments. | SEE STORY
AMI vice-president John Margold recommends that AMI operators add one Face Place model for every 10 jukeboxes on their routes. "One in 10 locations could do very well with this product," he said, "and NGX's modularity and common mounting hardware makes it straightforward to swap out the different NGX versions. Give it 90 days, and if photo vends begin to decline, move it."
Locations in Detroit, Queens, NY, and Pensacola, FL, among other spots around the country, were selected for the test to provide a rational gauge of the product. "We wanted to test locations where you would not expect a lot of interest in the photobooth service," Margold explained. And unlike a full-size, single-purpose booth, the NGX Face Place works without a privacy curtain, which was expected to curtail use by among patrons who might be bashful about posing for a photo in the open.
The results, he reported, were solid and consistent in most locations, rendering an additional $10 and $20 a night in photobooth sales.
Because a wide variety of photo entertainment is ubiquitous today, thanks to smartphones, it's important to provide patrons a physical souvenir with which they can walk away, Margold observed. "It makes a difference when you leave with two photo strips," he said.