There have been many times when I have had demos done for me of vendor solutions that involved people using their smartphones to do something more easily done on a general-use touchscreen.
I’d politely say what they’d developed was interesting, but then ask why consumers/patients/whoever wouldn’t just boink away on a touchscreen to get what they needed.
Pandemics have a way of changing that dynamic and argument. Now we really don’t to touch anything while out, and for good reason.
This week, I’ve seen a pair of different approaches to touchless interactions.
OMMA, a Turkish digital signage company that also has offices in the UK, UAE and Australia, has a web app solution for smart phones that allows consumers to use a QR code or short URL that throws menus and ordering to a phone screen.
It is an Open API solution that the company says allows easy integration with 3rd Party applications, which would enable a payment portal to work with a store POS or online platform like PayPal. It could also include an electronic customer loyalty program by registering the phone with the user’s permission.
The solution, says OMMA’s Darren Farrell, “is to make it contactless, hygiene conscience experience with the use of the users own phone, building a stronger personal connection with the brand that the user is interacting with. It is not rocket science, however it provides a low cost solution that is safe and complies to current ‘contactless’ society regulations. We are getting interest here in Australia and also abroad.”
OMMA is not terribly familiar to me. The cloud-based platform launched in 2015, and the software runs on Android, BrightSign, Linux, Tizen, webOS, and Windows. Farrell says it is the software behind the largest smart display project in the world, with 12,000+ System On Chip displays on a single network.
The Portuguese start-up Moviik, meanwhile, has an interesting take on queue management. It has more conventional products for more normal times, but the company has developed a touchless, smartphone solution for retail and other businesses that are requiring people to line-up at safe intervals or just generally wait to get inside – access controlled by a gatekeeper or an app.
Using a web app or simple text messaging, people check in and then wait – safely distanced from each other – until their number comes up via notification and queue management screens visible from outside the premises.
Simple, but clever, and spot-on for the times.
I saw this company at ISE, when trade shows were still happening. Was impressed by what I saw. The company is part of a larger group that includes the kiosk design-buiild firm Displax.
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.