The screens as grocery and c-store chiller doors thing has been around perhaps as long as a decade, and while marketplace adoption seems pretty limited to date, there are still companies getting into the concept and adding their own ideas on a special sauce, like AI.
The latest is a tie-up between the Philly computer vision company VSBLTY and Onyx Glass, a South African manufacturer and digital signage solutions provider. The two have announced plans to jointly market and distribute “the first patented, opaque/translucent to 100 percent transparent glass panels that attach to the inside of cooler doors.”
The two have even coined a new term – Cooler as a Service, or CaaS.
“This highly differentiated product combines pioneering transparent display, computer vision, video, and analytics software for application in retail locations globally. Imbera, the world’s number one commercial refrigeration producer and industry leader in customized design solutions, has agreed to be the manufacturing partner for the new product.”
“The first-of-its-kind glass panels can be installed cost effectively at the point of manufacture or as a retrofit in existing coolers, freezers, vending machines, display units and retail store fronts. The versatile glass panels offer three options: see through, full video or see through and video simultaneously, all of which are triggered automatically by viewer engagement and demographics. The content can be customized by retailers and brands for specific target audiences.“
Imbera has already integrated the Onyx Glass/VSBLTY solution into its leading-edge portfolio of coolers and freezers. Orders from national and international brand customers for the CaaS (Cooler as a Service) have already been received. Imbera’s production and supply chain offer long term scalability, sustainability and manufacturing for the new VSBLTY-Onyx patented cooler panels.
Onyx Glass and VSBLTY SaaS software and interactive touch display CMS are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform the retail shopping experience. VSBLTY FacialAnalytics and anonymized data provide unparalleled retail consumer analytics that include impressions, unique visitors, interactions (consumers touching an interactive module on the screen), dwell time, sentiment, age and gender.
“This is truly a ground-breaking and highly versatile solution that not only shows full HD at 100 percent transparency in virtually any environment, but also provides full business intelligence on customer engagement and interactivity,” says VSBLTY Co-founder and CEO Jay Hutton. “The content on these screens also informs shoppers and motivates immediate buying decisions.”
Hutton adds: “The cooler or freezer door is among the most valuable space in retail in terms of media value. It is a large canvas and functions as a ‘destination’ for shoppers. This innovation will open the floodgates for targeted activations in store and help to catapult the store to being part of a dominant media channel.”
Onyx Display Media CEO Andrew Coudounaris adds: “VSBLTY is the perfect partner for the creation and marketing of these innovative and sophisticated glass panels and doors powered by analytics and measurement that create an immersive and brand-new digital media experience. This product disrupts the status quo at retail with a wide range of sophisticated software that attracts and engages customers while providing real time, useable audience information that enables retailers to better understand and react to customer actions and preferences. As a world first, we are proud to introduce an exciting new feature—Transparency on Demand.”
The South African guys have a gloriously bad demo video up on their circa 2013 website, with the kind of voiceover and background music you see on “but wait, there’s more!” TV ads for guy-toy power tools.
I was in stitches:
The guys might want to update their demo video … from 2014.
UPDATE: After my post went up the company updated its website to 2021-ish and it has new, better demo videos.
As noted at the top, this technology has been around a bunch of years, and has been marketed by much bigger players like STRATACACHE. I like the technology and its in-store marketing possibilities. The challenge is getting someone to pay for it. The big brands would like the grocers to put them in, while the grocers see it as merchandising and want the brands to spend the money.