The challenge

The Philadelphia Orchestra sought to partner with Jarvus and Drexel University’s Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center to create LiveNote. LiveNote is a mobile app that allows concertgoers to access information about the works they are hearing, and to gain additional historical, musical, and emotional insights all in real-time at the concert hall. This project combined a classical art form with modern technology for a less tech savvy demographic and was used in a venue where phones were typically prohibited. Thus the app had to present an enormous amount of information whilst being intuitive, accessible, and above all non-disruptive.

The solution

Given the above challenges LiveNote was developed to automatically display relevant information by scrolling through slides in real time. This allowed LiveNote to provide an enriching experience even for less tech savvy users. In order to minimize impact on fellow concert goers LiveNote uses grey text on a black background, thus minimizing the amount of light pollution and disruption that occur during the concert. User controls allow concert goers to quickly and easily adjust font size and brightness so they can find their own optimal viewing setup.


LiveNote was originally built exclusively for iOS, but Jarvus recommended creating an Android version using HTML 5 to leverage Sencha Touch for the UI and Cordova for access to hardware level features such as brightness and the multicast cleint. This allows the Philadelphia Orchestra to quickly and easily release versions for platforms other than Andorid and iOS if they choose to in the future while maintaining a single code base. The HTML5 code was indistinguishable from the original experience, and saved the Philadelphia Orchestra 50% on development costs by unifying both platforms onto a single code base.

A custom multicast client component was written from the ground up as a Cordova plugin by Jarvus. All server side resources were provided by Drexel, and Jarvus was able to accommodate all of their existing design decisions without compromise.