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Digital Retail Signs Show Different Messages To Different Phones

New system offers a new way to reach shoppers with custom content.

Lara Piras
Lara Piras on January 29, 2014.

Toshiba recently previewed a prototype worth noting at the SC Business Fair 2014, which took place from Jan 22 to 24, 2014, in Yokohama, Japan.

The Japanese electronic giant has developed a digital signage system called Smartphone-linked Signage that is able to link to people’s smartphones where multiple users can access the signage at the same time. For example, people walking around a mall can approach the Bluetooth-powered sign, which will offer different store information and coupons to each person.

The system works by sending out beacon signals via a Bluetooth low energy wireless technology. As soon as the shopper passes by, smartphone in hand, the device receives the signals and links to the system. The user’s smartphone then acquires a special button and an icon that is visualised in the same color as the display on the signage system. The user then has the power to control the system from their smartphone and can begin to select and read the information they desire. The color of the button and icon changes when multiple users are present allowing users to not get confused and also see who’s selecting what exactly.

The idea works the other way round too. Information can be transferred from the user’s smartphone to the system. For example a store employee can promote new products by simply uploading to the system to ensure the shoppers know about new items.

The Toshiba Tec division is working alongside its sister company Toshiba Corp and global advertising group Hakuhodo i-studio Inc. to ensure the product is commercially viable.

Images: Ubergizmo.com, myretailmedia.com

Sources: Toshiba, Hakuhodo i-studio Inc.

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