eBay and Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco have partnered with brands Rebecca Minkoff, Toms Shoes, and Sony to introduce digital storefronts.
Mall of the future?
eBay and Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco have partnered with brands Rebecca Minkoff, Toms Shoes, and Sony to introduce digital storefronts. These interactive billboards let shoppers browse and purchase items on a glass touchscreen at the mall. Kinect sensors above the display use infrared to monitor foot traffic outside the storefronts.
The digital storefronts are made of panels of glass that eBay converted into touchscreens using adhesive projection film and touch foil. A custom-made Sony 4K projector provides the imaging for the screen.
Kevin McKenzie, Westfield Labs' chief digital officer, demonstrates how to make a purchase on a digital storefront. Shoppers enter their numbers on the keypad provided and a message is sent to their mobile phones where they can complete their transaction in private.
The Sony digital storefront uses the Kinect sensors above the display to track shoppers' movements. As an added trick, the display syncs movements to the items on the screen, making the products move with you as you approach them.
For brands that don't have a lot of physical stores, like Toms Shoes, getting the right messaging in department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's can be difficult, according to the shoe company. A digital storefront lets Toms have more of a retail presence without having to invest in a full-blown store with inventory and employees.