Secret Hard Rock site unveiled at MIX

It’s fun to be sworn to secrecy. And for the last two months, until 9:30 this morning, Duncan/Channon has been just that.

Two months ago Microsoft gave the greenlight for D/C and our development partner, Vertigo, to create the first website to use Deep Zoom technology. Part of the new Silverlight plug-in, Deep Zoom effectively adds another dimension to the navigation of web pages, beyond scrolling horizontally and vertically, allowing users to seamlesssly zoom in — way in — on an object or group of objects.

Needless to say, this unreleased technology was a perfect match for the new memorabilia site we had begun designing for Hard Rock, which is to ultimately encompass 70,000 items from an unparalleled collection of historic rock treasures.

At a meeting in Redmond, Microsoft liked our proposed design so much they not only shared their new technology, they invited us to share the stage at their prestigious MIX Conference in Las Vegas, which kicked off this morning.

D/C was introduced to Microsoft by Vertigo, a longtime Microsoft developer and former client of D/C (we did their upside-down-and/or-backwards logo) and the obvious choice when we began seeking a powerhouse partner to develop this complicated site.

Conceived and designed by D/C and built by the brilliant — and inexhaustible — Vertigo, with copy by D/C’s resident ex-rock critic Bob Duncan and Hard Rock’s own expert extraordinaire, Jeff Nolan, the initial version of the site went live today with more than 250 items — from Madonna’s bustier to the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour bus. Each item also includes contextual information and relevant video or web links. One preliminary tester said: “I could get lost in this for hours.”

We think it’s that kind of site.

And, of course, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Coming soon: hundreds of memorabilia items will become thousands, plus new features such as text and photo commenting and a memorabilia widget that will enable users to share their favorite pieces (and eventually their own custom collections) in an embeddable, interactive window (a la YouTube videos).

See more digital work for Hard Rock here.