Outform Showing Digital Mannequins At EuroShop That Borrow On Those Transparent Hologram-Ish Displays

March 1, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The retail design and visual merchandising firm Outform is at the giant Euroshop trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany this week showing, among many things, an interesting variation on those shower stall-like transparent LCD displays. In this case, the life-sized units are being marketed as Digital Mannequins, as opposed to (not really) holograms.

The Miami-based company’s stand includes a set of large-format transparent LCDs that are intended to either integrate with retail fixtures, or function as standalone units.

Like Proto and the growing list of start-ups it has, ummm, inspired, the shopper-stopping aspect of this is life-sized people inside these cabinets, their images captured using white or green screens and some clever lighting. What’s different here is that these mannequins are not intended to be real-time and “virtually transport” someone to the screen, from somewhere else. The display units also have far less depth to them than the shower stall ones, and don’t have cameras and speakers that drive interactivity and enable things like remote appearances.

Outform says its digital mannequin platform is a “retail-ready visual merchandising solution designed to revolutionize the fashion and apparel industry. Change in retail is accelerating, with new and existing challenges becoming more apparent. Our digital mannequin interactive platform solves some of retail’s biggest problems by increasing customer engagement, elevating the in-store experience, and providing measurable commercial value to your retail business.”

The digital mannequin platform functions similarly to a traditional mannequin but with added innovation and increased shopper value. Use the interactive platform anywhere a traditional mannequin would be placed in-store. Let the system’s high-fidelity content showcase and elevate your merchandised assortment.

Shoppers in-store can easily engage with the display’s content using their mobile devices and can purchase products directly on their devices using an online microsite. Content is managed similarly to other in-store media displays. Marketing and merchandising teams can program video content remotely using Outform’s retail management system.

QR codes are designed in to visuals and shoppers are encouraged to scan them and get a specific web URL that allows full control of what content is displayed on that screen. They can choose the products they want to see, from different perspectives and using different models. Shoppers can also purchase directly off the smartphone controls.

The unit itself is a 4K 86-inch transparent LCD with 1,000 nits of lighting power. Analytics are available, as well as merchandising accessories like shelves, frames and changeable lighting on the sides of the units.

It’s interesting. I could argue that this is really just a big digital poster for retail, not unlike what’s long been going into flagship stores for ages. But this is more like a hybrid of what companies like Proto do, and with more conventional flat panel displays – the differences here being the additional (almost 14-inches) depth of the enclosure (which drives the illusion), as well as the use of transparency.

I don’t really see the full hologram-ish things going much into retail because of their overall physical footprint, but also because the live, real-time aspect of those products probably doesn’t work – financially or operationally – in most retail environments. Having a full-time spokesmodel interacting with shoppers would certainly be interesting, but that would cost a few bucks and the model would spend a lot of time being bored to tears in many to most retail environments.





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