If you have been around the digital signage business for a few years, you’ve now seen for many years the nice little trick of using the interior lighting of grocery chillers and display cabinets to replace conventional back and edge lighting in LCD displays – effectively creating see through LCD screens.
Great stuff, and many companies have shown their take on it at trade shows. But I’ve not seen in the wild – or in PR – much evidence of the marketplace using the tech.
Certainly, there have some some nice, but relatively small rollouts here and there. But I’ve seen a couple of trade publication stories today about Atlanta-based MRI deploying about 1,000 of the units for beer giant Anheuser-Busch. These units are all running Aerva, which is clearly a nice little deal for the Boston company.
The company’s ThruVu Digital Cooler is a 55-inch transparent LCD, and has a built-in media player and all the connectivity and monitoring options needed to put out in big numbers. In this case, the coolers have gone into places like c-stores, liquor stores and sports venues.
I know a guy who has been talking with major retailers about deploying these coolers chiller aisles, which would make (in theory) for some very interesting visuals if the screens were sync’d up. But he’s said the retailers are looking to the brands to make the investment. So what the beer guys are doing is more likely the way we’ll see this tech deployed, with units here and there as opposed to rows of them that are part of the base fixture set-up of stores.