#mwl2011 No Dogs On The Grass

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Putting a flat screen in a shop window (with or without interactivity and with or without AR) is hardly earth shattering, far from being ‘anything to do with the future’ and will unlikely increase footfall into said shop by very much so when Hidden Creative‘s publicist asked the day before #mwl2011 proper on twitter “Do you want to see the shop window of the future?” and then proceeded to show exhibit (a) we were rather disappointed if not totally surprised.

After all we often hear so called ‘leading augmented reality and computer vision specialists” demonstrate no knowledge or indeed any common sense whatsoever about retail (or other sectors that they try to sell into).

Exhibit (a) a rather uninspiring window display

Our industry will always have a problem when (i) industry ‘veterans’ prefer to debate the merits of a name than do anything useful like demonstrate what could and should be done with our technology and (ii) folks who perhaps should know better continue to demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the retail ecosystem.

Window dressers or visual merchandising specialists go to great lengths to attract the passer by. Let’s face facts and admit that it’s rare for anything as conventional as a flat LCD / Plasma display to be able to do that (especially on its own and especially when placed direct onto the glass window).

Exhibit (b) Made you look, made you stare, made you lose your underwear

In exhibit (b) there is not a screen in sight but the display is appealing, humorous and works on many levels.

Almost all shop windows of course work in three dimensions, they have depth from the window itself into the store and so screens that are worked into mini works of art like this are much more likely to be effective and be adopted by the window dressing fraternity than a flat panel screen stuck (in two dimensions) on the window store front.

It’s about time that so called creative folks who want to sell into this space figured out how to better put our technology in context.

Exhibit (a) is Hidden Creative‘s new Gesture Controlled Window Display aimed at delivering interactive onscreen content and promotions to shoppers that customers can control by using hand and body gestures. The experience is displayed on screen or projected directly onto windows and is designed to create interaction with consumers through shop-front windows. It was on display at #mwl2011 in London recently

5 Responses to “#mwl2011 No Dogs On The Grass”

  1. Shamon Says:

    So what sort of screens or Digital Signage installation can we put in a shop window ? Especially when it’s the one of a “services point of sale”, like a bank or an insurance company ? I’ll be happy to get answers from real professional industry veterans !!!

  2. Tom Milner Says:

    The biggest issue for any of the businesses out there attempting to integrate with a screen is that window dressers are in essence artists…..in other words, they change their displays around to suit marketing requirements, customer perception and as Adrian has already put forward ‘attractiveness’.

    Placing a static screen that cannot be moved and essentially puts a limitation on window dressing makes the window ultimately uninteresting no matter what intereactivity or content is on the screen….this is still very much a learning curve for all concerned but at some point there will be a much better way of doing this….I’m just not sure how many times we will continue to do the same thing before somebody from the window dressing world provides a better input.

    It would seem that at the moment we are still very much in the postion that either ‘you need some digital signage in your window’ or ‘you need to keep dressing your windows’

    I guess the easiest wins for the Digital signage industry are where there is no real requirement for ‘window dressing’ but fast content updates like Bookmakers, Travel Agents, Estate Agents, etc or technology resellers whose products do not look out of place or dwarfed by a big screen in front of them!

    For me, I want clean installations that serve a purpose and benefit the retailer and consumer alike….has anyone actually done any measurement yet on an increase in sales due to interactivity through a window?

    If we can slowly progress to a common ground between soft and digital window campaigns then everyone is a winner but it’s still a long way to go!

  3. Jonsey Says:

    Dont forget that the vast majority of screens put in windows are not visable in anything approaching bright daylight. The window dressers are there to create impact… very difficult to do if the retailer has a washed out image in their window despite what they have been told!… But never mind , the expensive display solution will be fabulous at night…. when the shop is closed!

    It makes no difference how good the content is. first and formost get display technology that meets the customers expectations rather than provide a second rate soution that is not fit for purpose. Its has been the main reason that the retail sector has avoided using digital window dressing.

    There are of course exceptions and LED can provide a working solutions but cost and resolution are a limiting factor. Only when there are trully modular, high bright displays (at around 2000 nits or more) at a reasonable cost ,will the retail digital signage market really take off.

  4. Dirk Gently Says:

    DailyDOOH are spot on. we have far too many AV companies figuring that they understand retail and sell in the wrong soluions. As Jonsey says very difficult to get a sunlight readable display. I’d like to see shop fitters engaged with our medium

  5. scott Anthony Says:

    What we need is high brights with AR, gesture based interfaces, the more interactive the better, otherwise don’t even bother getting started.

    Sunlight readable screens are fruitful now and we have many install examples with i3window.com high brights working even in Ibiza conditions. It kills me and insults the intelligence of the serious professionals in the DOOH sector that someone would even consider placing a non interactive screen into a retail space.

    The shop window is the website on the street. You must sell that space as if your life depended on it. Do it right or fail miserably.

    Very straight forward. Any company selling the wrong tailored solution should be shot on sight! It gives our sector a very bad image if we allow folk to get away with misguided revenue display install solutions.

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