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Burger King Docks iPods in Japan

Filed under Equipment, Marketing, Research

The speaker (left) and the dock. Source: Walkerplus

Burger King is extending its “Have it your way” philosophy to music. At the chain’s newest location in Japan, which opened June 29, diners at some tables can plug an iPod (or other mp3 player) into wall-mounted docking stations. A speaker in a plastic jellyfish-like dome overhead directs the music to those at the table below. Called a “music shower” by some observers, the gadget is a bit of a cross between a jukebox and the “Cone of Silence” from the old “Get Smart” TV show.

The technology will roll out to other units in Japan first, but remains a very limited test. With more than 220 million iPods in use globally, however, Burger King has to be looking at expanding availability as it accelerates remodeling of its stores.

In another nod to technology, Burger King in Britain is offering cellphone minutes as a promotional premium. Customers who buy a large Fanta or Sprite drink can get a 50p (about 75¢) credit for pay-as-you-go cellphone use.