In this post, I will essentially bring the two topics together and examine how technology can be utilized to develop interactive window displays that would enhance the shoppers' awareness and interest.
In the last several years, there have been various attempts to develop increasingly advanced solutions, mostly utilizing motion sensors, that could be introduced in a retail window environment. Five years ago, well before the introduction of Microsoft's Kinect, Orange, the European telecommunication company, set up one of the first no-touch interactive windows in the UK. This technology allowed the company to stand out, engage potential customers, and deliver a fun experience even when the store was closed. See the video below.
Last year, French ballet shoe company, Repetto, developed it's version of an interactive window display right in time for Paris Fashion Week. The technology enabled the company to deliver in an engaging way beautiful images that instantly presented the lifestyle and message that is central to the company to passers-by. See the video below and visit this link to understand the process of development of the window display (Repetto - Interactive Shop Window).
In the last few years, Dutch company, Philips, has invested in a research facility called ExperienceLab "where a natural setting is provided in which proposed new technologies and applications can actually be tested and experienced". One of the concepts that ExperienceLab is testing is the intelligent shop window. This technology allows shoppers to get information on the items on display just by looking or pointing at them and on the other items on sale by browsing a touch screen display catalogue. See the video below.
Other brands that have tried to marry technology and window design are Diesel, Bank of Moscow, and even Starbucks. In many cases, the use of technology has sparked curiosity and interest. In some, it allowed the brand to get its lifestyle message across in a more direct and successful way. Therefore, interactive window displays might well be more and more common in the future.
However, retailers should be careful not to overload their stores with technology. What makes a retailer unique is also its personality, its individual and peculiar service and interaction with the customer. In fact, the human element can still be an advantage and a differentiating factor when it is characterized by specific training resulting in outstanding service.