Schematic’s Touchwall At Cannes

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

New York-based Schematic, a WPP company, has launched what it considers the future of experiential, digital marketing at Cannes Lions 2010 with the debut of two large-scale, branded ‘Touchwall’ experiences, created in partnership with Nokia and Dell.

Demoing Monday through Friday from 3:10 – 3:35 PM Central European Time on Schematic’s massive 12’ long x 5’ high interactive Touchwall, the experiences showcase how brands can utilize the Touchwall technology platform to connect with consumers in busy public environments.

The Touchwall is also serving as the information hub for the event, allowing festival delegates to instantly access the complete show program, view 3D maps of the surrounding area, find details on local establishments and share information with other delegates.

Schematic’s Touchwall, which is equipped with an RFID reader, is centrally located on Level 1 of the Palais des Festivals, between the entrances to Debussy Theater and Grand Auditorium. When a Cannes attendee places an event badge against the Touchwall, it recognizes the delegate through an RFID tag embedded in the conference badge. When the badge is authenticated, the Touchwall provides a personalized workspace on the display, from which users can then navigate the event. Multiple people can work side by side, creating a productive and fun environment for sharing information and ideas.

A past version of Touchwall, introduced at last year’s Cannes festival – where it served as an information resource – the high-definition, multi-user Touchwall has been updated using Windows 7 and has returned to Cannes as a faster, more efficient technology platform.

“In an era of extreme audience fragmentation, the digital-out-of-home category stands out as one of the few platforms that can reach a truly mass audience in a meaningful way,” says Trevor Kaufman, CEO, Schematic. “At Cannes Lions, we’re using the Touchwall to illustrate how brands can utilize this channel to provide significant value to consumers in an interactive manner that also keeps the brand top of mind. By partnering with Microsoft to develop this new generation Touchwall on the Windows 7 platform, we’ve been able to add a significant boost to its overall capabilities.”

Providing a fully immersive experience, the proprietary Touchwall technology was totally developed by Schematic. Combining spatial navigation design, multiple database coordination and an intuitive user interface, the Touchwall leverages Schematic’s deep expertise in software development and user interface design.

To further enhance the Touchwall experiences, Schematic turned to music production company Man Made Music, headed by industry pioneer Joel Beckerman, to create distinctive sonic branding for each demo.

This year’s Touchwall leverages the latest Microsoft technologies, including Windows Media Center, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation.

Philip Thomas, CEO of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, says, “The technology is simply amazing and we believe it represents a strong example of the next level of digital engagement developing within our industry.”

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