I wonder where that idea came from …

October 28, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Well, as the old saw goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

TruMedia recently unveiled the iCap … which bears a striking resemblance to the nCap, a digital endcap with face counting technology that was launched by Artisan back in March, with technology from BroadSign and CognoVision. I was very actively involved in the nCap’s development, so I’ll admit to a mix of amusement and furtive shrugging at the inevitable arrival of a similar product. Good ideas don’t tend to stay unique for long, and the six-month head-start we figured on was pretty much spot on.

Anyway … 

Says a press release:

Attention retailers – customers in aisle two are looking at your end-cap display – and then walking right towards it.

How valuable would that type of information be – on a real-time basis – to the marketing departments of large chains, box stores and other retailers – who spend extensive resources in an effort to understand what turns shoppers on and off?

TruMedia Technologies, Inc. has created just that information resource by adapting its revolutionary out-of-home digital measurement solution to retail environments. Its new iCapTM solution measures consumer reaction to end-cap and stand alone displays. The system’s proprietary video analytics technology can tell marketers if a shopper saw and ultimately approached a display as well as their average dwell time.  It also reveals shopper age and gender without recording or offering any personally identifying characteristics. 

When combined with TruMedia’s other products like the iTallyTM, an opportunity-to-see (OTS) people counter, marketers have even more information at their fingertips to determine the most effective location and best creative content for their end-cap displays.

“Research shows that 70 percent of purchase decisions are made in stores, making retail locations a vital venue for marketers and researchers,” said Dr. Vicki Rabenou, chief measurement officer, TruMedia. “With a better knowledge of audience composition, coupled with what motivates shoppers to buy at the point of sale, marketers can better target their messages and merchandising to boost sales.”

StoreCheck, a company that provides IT solutions to evaluate marketing performances at the point of sale, has been testing out the iCap system in a convenience store in Mexico City.

The technology is very cool, and the analytics these face counting platforms spit out is quite detailed. The challenge for TruMedia and any of the companies in this space is getting the price right and staying ahead of the curve on their offers, as the actual tracking stuff seems to be widely available but the analytics take real work. The other big challenge is putting together an offer that gets retailers interested, as opposed to intimidated and confused.

Selfishly, but also logically, the nCap looks a lot more interesting to me, and probably to the retail crowd, because it is done by a retail merchandising company, not the pocket-protector crowd.

 Without a doubt, there are other companies tossing around names like eCap and dShelf even as we speak.

Leave a comment