I see Stratacache had the forehead-slapper of an idea to demo a new product at a vertical industry show instead of a general digital signage gathering – putting a vending machine version of its translucent PrimaSee product in front of 4,000 vending machine people attending this week’s National Automatic Merchandising Association show in Las Vegas.
The chiller fridge versions Stratacache brought out, and copied like crazy since, this is a Liquid Crystal Display embedded in the vending machine glass, illuminated by the machine instead of normal LCD back or edge lighting.
Creating a unique point of differentiation, says the release, PrimaSee allows brands to showcase multiple translucent messages and update them instantaneously to maximize brand awareness, influence purchase decisions, and provide an innovative, interactive experience for consumers. Adding to its unique capabilities, PrimaSee Vending features an embedded media player, allowing for seamless content updates based on current products and promotions.
“PrimaSee Vending is the latest development within our PrimaSee product suite,” says Chris Riegel, CEO. “This technology provides full-motion, high-impact video to assist consumers with purchase decisions, all while allowing them to view the product on the shelves behind the message. Truly transforming the vending machine experience, this unique technology will alter college campuses, cafeterias and break rooms within the next year.”
The whole transparent-translucent thing is interesting, and waaaay more so when viable usage models start to come on the market. The first time I saw transparent LCDs, I thought, “Well that’s nice, but so?”
Putting them in fixtures in front of products makes the case. I do recall seeing at least one other company with a vending machine unit at DSE, but it looked like a prototype or concept, not a product ready to ship anytime soon (though I’ll be happily corrected by a reader).
The challenge with this stuff – as manufacturers and end-users will find out – is that the basic task of applying an LCD to glass and illuminating it is pretty easy. Getting the engineering down to make it reliable and deal with all the environmental and handling stuff that comes with being in busy retail environments is another matter. In other words, there are now multiple sources for things like chiller doors with LCDs, but the number that have been fully engineered and tested to deal with condensation, etc, etc, etc is probably much smaller.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.