Apple is making use of Smart Signs around its stores to help sell its products. The iPad-based displays contain information about the adjacent product and replace traditional paper signage.
On smaller devices like the iPhone, the Smart Sign is now the docking mechanism to hold the device when it's not in a customer's hands.
The Smart Sign matches the style of previous Apple Store signage, which was contained in clear acrylics.
One place where Smart Signs look a bit out of place is next to iPads.
Smart Signs have their home buttons disabled, so customers cannot accidentally quit out of the informational app.
A Smart Sign next to the much larger iMac.
Apple is also using Smart Signs to help sell the iPod Touch.
A Smart Sign next to a Mac Mini, Apple's bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse computer.
A single cable feeds out of the back of the Smart Sign base, feeding the unit power.
One of the advantages of using a digital device for signage is that the app can be used to calculate and update information. In this case, potential iPhone buyers can see what rate plans are available,and see the price adjust accordingly.
When a customer asks for help from a Smart Sign, it sends out an alert to Apple store employees, who can claim the request and get a map of where that customer is.
Apple is using its latest-generation iPad units for the Smart Signs.
Apple is using Smart Signs for even its least expensive products. In this case, that's the $49 iPod Shuffle.