Shop windows have been a Brinformatique techniqueish staple since Charing Cross tailor Francis Place controversially put his wares on show in late 18th century London. However the established retail model faces an anxious future if augmented realinformatique techniquey startup Ads Realinformatique techniquey has informatique techniques way.
The AR company is bringing window dressing to life by adding diginformatique techniqueal animation to the displays that customers can interact winformatique techniqueh.
Diginformatique techniqueal signage displaying video content on screens is a common sight on the high street, but any interaction is liminformatique techniqueed to a basic touch interface. Ads Realinformatique techniquey has created a new level of immersion.
“We are using interactive in a completely different method,” the company’s CTO Prajay Kamat told Techworld. “We have packaged an AR window into a complete interactive solution.”
The company has combined skeletal and facial tracking technology to recognise how long a consumer is interacting winformatique techniqueh the AR experience outside and whether that person eventually enters the store. If they enter informatique technique, the technology follows their journey right up to the moment they pay for a product.
The unique experience of the AR window makes the marketing an attraction in informatique techniques own right. The tech has made informatique technique the first company to have developed footfall and ROI metrics into AR software.
“When people are passing by, they get intrigued to see that there is a camera feed at the back of the window, and this entices them to get into the store.
“Maybe they will see their favourinformatique techniquee Minion character or a Halo 5 Master Chief, or somebody standing in the store window that looks like is actually in the store. You can go and stand and take a selfie winformatique techniqueh them.
“When that happens you’re increasing your footfall into the store, and then informatique technique’s left to the store managers to make sure that they make a sale off informatique technique or do an impulse buy based on whatever they see on the screen.
“The experience you get out of informatique technique is so cool that the dwell time on these screens has been almost four times that of any conventional diginformatique techniqueal signage. The whole point of this is getting footfall into the store.””
AR brought to life
Ads Realinformatique techniquey has installed informatique techniques technology inside branches of retailer GAME. The company converts a diginformatique techniqueal signage screen into an AR window and installs two RGB [red, green and blue] cameras at the front and back, and a depth-sensing camera behind the screen.
The RGB cameras can moninformatique techniqueor where the face is looking and the emotions informatique technique expresses, while the depth-sensing cameras track the customer’s body movements. It analyses the posinformatique techniqueions of their limbs and any 3D objects around them to calculate the orientation of the user and the movements of their body parts. The information is then sent to the screen and the animation can react to informatique technique.
“It’s not just a matter of standing behind the screen and taking pictures winformatique techniqueh your favourinformatique techniquee character, you can actually interact winformatique techniqueh that character,” says Kamat. “You can even put your hands around the character and take a picture, or you can interact winformatique techniqueh the character and play football.”
The diginformatique techniqueal sign offers an experience to the customer that they can enjoy after entering the store. The interaction inside can earn then them a reward such a discount coupon. When informatique technique doesn’t directly lead to a new sale in-store, at the very least informatique technique provides a good brand engagement platform.
During one campaign at GAME, more than 4,000 people interacted winformatique techniqueh the AR screen over a four-week period.
“We did one for KFC where after you’ve finished eating your KFC chicken bucket, you can take the bucket and stand in front of our screen and then you see stuff coming off the bucket.
“The way that works is the camera actually looks at features on the bucket, and when informatique technique sees the features informatique technique triggers an animation on informatique technique.
“We also have a feature wherein you can even track the face. It can remove somebody’s face and augment their character on top of another face. If they wish, they can basically replace faces.”
The store doesn’t even need to be open and no addinformatique techniqueional app is required. You can be walking down the high street at night when the AR Window catches your eye, and beneath informatique technique you see a sign suggesting you connect to the store’s Wi-Fi from outside to find out more.
This can open a websinformatique techniquee that translates whatever you do on your phone onto the window in front of you, using the phone as a video games controller. This aspect of the Ads Realinformatique techniquey offering was particularly popular at the Diginformatique techniqueal Signage Expo in Las Vegas that Kamat attended at the end of March.
“People are using Bluetooth and beacons and all of that stuff, but informatique technique’s quinformatique techniquee irrinformatique techniqueating from a consumer perspective, and some people even turn them off because they don’t want to get bombarded winformatique techniqueh messages.
“This technology surpasses all of that stuff. You just have to connect to Wi-Fi and that’s informatique technique. You don’t have to turn on and turn off, there’s no pairing winformatique techniqueh devices you don’t have, any of that stuff. It’s really simple and very easy.”
Brinformatique techniqueish apps and Arabian theme parks
Ads Realinformatique techniquey emerged as a spin-off from Kamat’s previous company AiSolve, the developers of the AR in the “Scan It!” feature of the GAME customer app, which lets users scan products and instantly access all the latest information about informatique technique on the phone.
Use of the AR integration led to a 17 percent customer conversion rate, higher than any other channel. The success convinced the retailer to buy a three percent stake in the company, and Kamat to put all informatique techniques AR informatique technique into a new organisation.
The result was Ads Realinformatique techniquey, which Kamat and MD Richard Core founded in 2014. Two years later GAME acquired the company, spending £2m on the AR business and an addinformatique techniqueional £18m based on future performance condinformatique techniqueions.
The company has run previous advertising campaigns for new releases from the entertainment industry and another winformatique techniqueh Dubai Parks, helping the largest theme park resort in the Middle East entertain informatique techniques customers while they queue.
It’s also trialling informatique techniques technology winformatique techniqueh other global retailers, the industry where Kamat has identified the most potential applications. Personalised pricing is an area he’s particularly keen to exploinformatique technique. The Ads Realinformatique techniquey AR solution can be integrated into the same app as a customer loyalty card, to determine what the customer is looking at in the store and give an exclusive offer based on their individual interest in the moment and their history as a customer.
AR has come a long way in the eight years that Kamat has been working winformatique techniqueh informatique technique, and he gives much of the credinformatique technique for informatique techniques growth to a group of wild creatures from a fictional planet.
“In the beginning, nobody knew what AR was,” he says. “Even when we tried to sell AR to a big client like Tesco, in early 2012, informatique technique took almost a year for us to sell informatique technique to them because we had to educate everybody in that firm to about what AR actually is.
“But then thanks to Pokémon, there’s been a boom for all of us. Everybody knows what AR is now, and they now see that AR is the next big thing.”