Creating Immersive Customer Experiences with Holograms

As the online retail shopping channel grows exponentially, retailers are turning to innovative technology to better communicate and connect with customers in stores. Among the most engaging options is a solution that incorporates holograms for an immediate, engaging experience.

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Image credit: Wachter

Over the past decade, in-store retail technology has helped boost sales and increase efficiencies in inventory, purchasing, and more. Overall, digital technology is changing how consumers shop for products and engage with brands. According to insight from McKinsey, shopping trends to track are consumers being more connected, less loyal, more informed, and channel agnostic. 

The brick-and-mortar retail environment is also evolving–and gaining sales. A survey from the United States Census Bureau confirms that e-commerce sales surged during the pandemic. According to the Annual Retail Trade Survey, e-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion, or 43 percent in 2020, rising from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020.

 

As consumers continue to do much of their shopping online, merchants need to reimagine their brick-and-mortar stores to compete with the convenience and ease of online shopping. Retailers need more compelling technology that helps them turn window shoppers into buyers. 

Wachter hologram of a smartphone

Image credit: Wachter

Appearing Now: Interactive Holograms

Intel® partner Wachter offers holograms developed by Proto that blur the lines between live and digital displays to create unique, powerful customer interactions that boost foot traffic and brand loyalty. Customers interact with celebrities, influencers, brands, and more on life-sized screens–and they can extract data in real time to advance shopping purchases. Retailers are using the holograms to offer demos, wayfinding, virtual dressing rooms, celebrity appearances and performances, and in-store ordering.

In a Wachter blog, Matt Tyler, Vice President of Strategic Innovation at Wachter says, “Creating a memorable destination shopping experience is challenging enough for retailers. Designing, implementing, and supporting the technology required to make that happen becomes overwhelming and is often put on the back burner due to complexity or cost. Wachter’s exclusive partnership with Porto and Intel® provides an easy, scalable, turn-key solution allowing our customers to effortlessly provide a one-of-a-kind, engaging, in-person encounter to their shoppers.” 

Wachter hologram communicating with a person

Image credit: Wachter

Beaming 3D Images Anywhere

The 4K video “holograms” are presented in high-density, multitouch displays that make it appear as though someone has beamed into a room. Sensor-enabled front cameras “see” the audience and transmit their reactions. Outside of retail, use cases range from telehealth visits to work conferences to birthday parties. At the University of Central Florida, holograms allow students to identify symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and practice their bedside manner. When the rapper Sean Combs couldn’t attend his son’s birthday party in April 2021, he beamed in via a hologram and sang a personal version of “Happy Birthday.”

Proto offers a 4K, life-sized seven-foot-tall booth into which one can beam a 3D image of themselves anywhere in the world. Celebrities can be “beamed” into a store and appear as if they are actually on premises. The self-contained, plug-and-play unit includes IoT, AI, touchscreens, voice activation, and facial recognition. DHL, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Netflix are among the many companies that have worked with Proto holograms.

The solution is deployed via Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is powered by 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 Processors. It uses Intel® RealSense™ Technology, a comprehensive portfolio of computer vision hardware and software solutions designed to give products the ability to understand the world in 3D.

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