Inside Diesel’s interactive window, which was tied to its “Destroyed” jeans campaign, shoppers could control the weather via a video game that linked to the window set-up. The innovative display earned a first place award in this year’s VMSD International Visual Competition.
In VMSD’s exclusive interview, Michael Haiser, managing director, Liganova, gives the scoop on the development of the interactive window.
VMSD: What was the inspiration for this interactive window display?
Michael Haiser: Through the interactive window mechanics, both the window design and its method of use have been adapted to fit the Diesel “Destroyed” campaign and its desired target customer group. The custom-made window adopts the key message of the “Destroyed” campaign – interactive elements such as thunderstorms are integrated into a video game and intrinsically linked to the window set-up.
The Diesel interactive window fully embraces the zeitgeist of a target customer group for whom Playstation and Wii are second nature.
VMSD: What drove your decision to include the Motion Tracking technology in your window?
Haiser: Innovation and technology are combined to create completely new effects. The window interaction doesn’t use touch sensor, but rather “Motion Tracking,” a technology whereby live images from a video camera are processed in real time. Digital impulses allow realistic movements such as blowing wind or falling objects to take place in the window.
The window glass acts as a speaker membrane, delivering the relevant sounds for each window set-up without any visible wiring. This is another brand-new technology – the cables are completely replaced by powerful hidden sound transducers.
The Motion Tracking is important to turn the active window into an interactive window via light, sound and action. That way the passersby get involved in the window concept.
VMSD: How does the use of technology in a window display speak to the Diesel consumer?
Haiser: Players are captured by a camera (in a blank television on the glass) and displayed as a mirror image on the screen (window in the back wall). There are different buttons for different actions on the screen (wind, lightening and joker). The player must use his mirror image to try and touch them. If he is successful the button bursts and the associated action (lightening, fan or joker) is activated.
The window also shows the current power level that is being achieved, which in turn controls the intensity of the sounds, lightening and wind. The black buttons, if touched, make all remaining buttons disappear and automatically reduce the power level. The player should therefore try to avoid touching them.
By the use of light, sound and action effects, the window attracts attention and encourages the customer to play.
VMSD: Have you used technology in a Diesel window or display before or was this new?
Haiser: In the past, we’ve worked with projection and light effects in the field of window design. But all these technologies together in one window have been used for the first time for the Diesel campaign.
VMSD: What feedback did you receive from customers?
Haiser: For the consumer, there is a high entertainment value and visual fun factor – the game allows him to actively move and destroy objects within the window. People walking past the window can join in and get carried away. For instance, by using only their own hand movements in front of the window, they are able to trigger thunder, lightening and stormy winds within the window. The gathering crowds continue to attract passersby. This playful approach within an otherwise rigid set-up is important for success here, for both players and spectators.
The success of the interactive windows also has a positive influence on brand building of Diesel. By lifting the barriers between shop and street there is a positive shift in brand image and an increase in customer traffic of more than 50 percent.
VMSD: Why is technology becoming more important in visual merchandising?
Haiser: The customer has to be surprised by the window designs over and over again. The use of these technologies is one alternative to create surprising effects and products. Furthermore, the brand image is re-staged in an innovative way.
Technology also allows us to find new chances to stage products. For example we are working on an Interactive Cube, a mobile, interactive experience that would take the shop window concept to the next level. Visual design highlights and innovative p-o-s applications interact and operate like an ingenious integral “voucher system.” The Interactive Cube offers an interactive brand experience in any public space – without the help of street promoters.