Here’s A Chiller Fridge Media Solution That Does The Job But Doesn’t Bust Budgets

July 12, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Here’s a very different, and probably way less costly and involved demo of going at the idea of adding digital signage to chiller fridges.

While companies like Cooler Screens have gone down the path of retrofitting the heavy, expensive and custom-sized chiller doors in high foot traffic retail (and run into a big problem), Fargo, ND-based CMS software and solutions shop Revel Digital and a related initiative called Warehouse 13 have worked up a solution that leaves the doors alone and uses ribbon displays and other tech INSIDE the chillers.

The demo in the video below shows a system that uses what I am pretty sure are LCD ribbons (new LCD manufacturing methods mean these things are no longer crazy-expensive), sensors, touch and audio.

Warehouse-13 engineers retrofitted a cooler with ESL shelf displays, proprietary shelf pusher sensors and adding touch to the existing cooler door. They then added Revel Digital CMS technology to power the cooler and topped it off with a built in sound bar!

The little flashing lights in the rear of the shelf are counting stock levels, and that and other analytics (including the environmental state of the fridge) get pushed to a dashboard.

This has only a fraction of the bling of chiller doors retrofitted with transparent LCD, but we can assume the capital and operating costs are also a fraction of full door screens. The challenge, as always, is getting retailers to pay for it. The above-mentioned Cooler Screens got their rollouts OK’d because THEY were incurring the costs, and tapping into brand marketing dollars to recover costs.

  1. Jackie Walker says:

    This is super cool! But I think we always have to remember that even though we can do something doesn’t mean that it makes sense to do it. For example, touching the glass is not a natural action for customers (most of us have been trained from birth to NOT TOUCH THE GLASS!!!). We have also been trained to close the fridge door as soon as possible, so an interactive screen inside the fridge is probably also violating natural behavior patterns (or creating a behavior that retailers would rather we didn’t). I LOVE the fact that there is now a simple solution for screens that can survive inside a cooler – that is an achievement and creates an exciting customer experience and monetization opportunity. But when we are thinking about how these things should work and which features to prioritize (and which content/experiences we are going to create), we should always try to dutifully apply a customer focused lens and that will lead us to the most graceful and impactful solutions 🙂

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      100% Jackie. My yardstick tends to be answering the question of whether technology introduced to something familiar actually makes it better. The challenge with the full screen transparent LCDs is that it had the potential to just irritate shoppers.

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