Battery-powered displays and kiosks cut the cord
March 25, 2011 by Dave Haynes
Chester Niziol had me up to the Toronto-area R&D digs of one of his companies, ideaLAB, something like a year ago to show me a prototype of a display he was working on that ran off nothing but batteries for a full business day.
It was a little bulky and prototypey (invented word), but I liked the notion. I’ve since done some work with the company, providing some refinement ideas and helping get the message together for a set of devices that make their debut Monday at GlobalShop in Lost Wages.
The idea is pretty simple – large displays that run off high-capacity batteries for as long as 14 hours, that sit on heavy-duty casters so they can be rolled easily in a retail or other environment. They charge back up overnight.
If you are out much in retail or other public spaces you see over and over again long runs of duct tape or hard plastic ramps that keep people from tripping over power cords that are running over to a display. Or there are godawful cords danging from the ceiling. In a lot of settings, there are no power plugs in the floor in the middle of walkways, and when there are, they are rarely in the ideal position.
With a battery-powered unit, none of that matters. And a cord pulls out – kinda like they do with vacuum cleaners – to plug in when needed.
The thing I thought would be great when I first saw it was the ability to merchandise and brand these units. Instead of a powder-coated monotone slab with a screen, it could have adhesive graphics that brand the whole unit front and back, and have sleeves or racks to put product.
So that’s what is now on the 40-inch screen version, and reflected a little in the smaller, customer engagement-oriented 24-inch version. The smaller has a touch screen and the larger has that for an option.
The target markets here are retailers, brands and event operators who need something portable that can be easily re-positioned and is not totally dependent on nearby power sources. The re-branding and merchandising aspect makes it great for things like liquor and cosmetic brands or marketers doing launches in the power aisles of mass merchandisers or in mall corridors.
The units are the result of more than two years of R&D by Niziol and a business partner that has one of the biggest retail fixture companies in Canada. The company is developing flexible arrangements and partnerships to rent, lease or but these fellas.
A unit will be at the GlobalShop show in the Canada’s Best Store Fixtures booth.
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