Big Nike Stores In Europe Use Gesture-Sensing LED Walls To Market High-Tech Apparel Line

June 18, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Nike is using  big interactive LED display walls, gesture sensing cameras and interactive software to market its Dri-Fit apparel at three of its big-city, flagship-y stores during the UEFA European Men’s Football Championships.

The set-ups are at Nike’s Paris House Of Innovation, Nike Town London and Nike Berlin Tauentzienstraße, and thank God I don’t have to pronounce that last one.

The idea here is that interested customers walk in front of a big display, position themselves in the camera-sensing sweet spot, and then kinda move around to generate body heat and see in real-time how Nike’s Dri-Fit apparel wicks moisture, etc, etc. The experience was developed by the London/Amsterdam creative shop OMM and uses Move AI, Unreal Engine, Zedcam and Unity.

This is what I said on Linkedin when I saw a video last week: Gonna be the grumpy old guy here and suggest this is largely pointless eye candy that will mostly be a draw to little kids and extrovert adults. That LED wall just visually explaining the product features and benefits would be more effective than something that asks shoppers to perform stupid people tricks.

As you might well expect, the OMM guy who posted the piece heartily but constructively disagreed, as did other people from the experiential community. It’s a good discussion with a lot of varied perspectives, and worth a read if you have mixed feelings.

I’m old and pragmatic and, right or wrong, more oriented to screens that are just useful, as opposed to ones that are about delivering experiences. I have seen gesture-based, software-driven experiences demo’d at countless trade shows, but I rarely see evidence of them getting deployed beyond flagships … and even then, they are usually for short runs as product launches or pop-ups.

So I guess they can be fun, but they don’t appear to scale – possibly/probably because interactive experiences can be operational headaches (not saying this one is, but there’s a history). Eye candy and wow factor also tend to have very short shelf lives.

I’d walk right on by this sort of thing in a store, but will acknowledge there are lots of extroverts out there who would be all over a “Look at me!!!” opportunity. I also know, yet again from walking a trade show last week, that even people who work in the pro AV industry, who have seen all kinds of stuff, are still drawn to eye candy like faux holograms and kinetic displays.

One of the explanations behind Nike’s strategy for this set-up is that there are other information points in the stores that get into product features and benefits, so that’s good. But practical me would have that on the biggest visual feature.

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