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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Intel were showing in Digital Signage World their new concept Augment Reality Digital Signage. It uses a combination of real time analytics, augmented reality and comprehensive touchscreen technology to allow users to engage with the display to get more from their shopping experience. Every shopping center should get one now.

This thing  works in two parts. Firstly there’s the LCD side, which shows off a selection of paid advertisements. The LCD will cycle through the ads, or if a user sees something they like, they can use the touchscreen to scroll through all the ads on offer to see the one they want.

The more exciting part of this technology is the augmented reality side, which uses a holographic-like display to show real time information on a clear touchscreen, which allows two simultaneous users to interact with the display, getting real time information and deals, which can then be sent to a mobile phone for when you get to the checkout.

The proof of concept unit on display was using a projector playing onto a mirror to create the touchscreen on a clear sheet of glass, although Intel have said that their are OEMs currently developing clear display panels that will do away with the need for a discreet projector.

In addition to the ability to browse by products and search, there’s also a camera in the unit which uses face detection technology for analytics, which will determine whether or not people using the screen are male or female and an approximate demographic, and can then use that information for targeting advertisers.

According to Jose Avalos, Digital Signage director at Intel, we’re roughly 2-3 years away from seeing these kinds of displays pop up in shopping centers, but they are definitely coming. Which means we’re closer to a full Minority Report-type screen than ever before.

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Carefour has started equipping it’s stores with  kiosks and digital signage!  Two pilot stores in the suburbs of Lyon – Venissieux and Ecully have three touch screens per store, centrally controlled, installed at the head of gondolas for white goods (washing machines, cookers, Le fridge etc) .

The systems in place describe the range of products available in stores and also serve as a tool for decision support for the client. 


Specifically, these terminals allow customers to browse the entire catalog offered by Carrefour . The interactive screens are a joint venture between Bluefox and Axians . The wall screens are a joint venture of Bluefox with Mediaperformance.

The current number of media players per Carefour store is 80. All are provided by Cisco .

Another good use of Microsoft Surface appears on the Internet.  Mark Micire at UMass Lowell create this software as part of his PhD research.

The multitouch UI puts Microsoft Surface  to good use, with gestures and contextual commands that make operating an unruly group of robots look easy, and a console-inspired touch control setup for operating a single bot from a first person perspective as well.

There are a couple videos, the first is Mike operating an army of virtual robots, using Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio to simulate his soldiers and environment, but the second shows his first person UI guiding a real robot through a maze.

I want one for my room to impress my friends please…