Outernets' Digital Storefronts Bring the Ecommerce Experience to Traditional Window Shopping

Brought to you by WBR Insights

Recent years have seen augmented reality devices find a true foothold in society.

Ever since a certain monster-catching mobile game found popularity, the technology has been applied in many sections of business and entertainment. From heads up display devices for field service engineers to apps which allow people to try on makeup, augmented reality is making serious waves throughout industry.

One concept which has found its way into the retail space recently is that of the smart mirror. With these devices, people using changing rooms in stores can access a range of information about products, call for help, or even virtually try on outfits.

However, Outernets is taking this concept one step further with its innovative product - the smart shop window.


New York City-based startup, Outernets is a collaborative effort between artists, scientists, and engineers who are dedicated to the seamless integration of digital and physical spaces. In a world where brick and mortar retail is rapidly losing ground to the world of ecommerce, the best way of ensuring survival is to find ways to offer unique experiences to your customers which they simply cannot get online.

"Outernets Inc. began with a question," says the company website. "Could the personalization of online shopping be replicated in the physical world? Outernets' machine learning and computer vision solution focus on two key areas: targeted advertising and interactive experiences. We're the only boundless platform to solve retail problems with creative applications of interactive content tailored to each consumer while giving retailers data to observe engagement, learn about their audience, and make continuous improvements."

The Outernets solution involves replacing a store's front window with a digital screen complete with powerful augmented reality software. Not only is the device transparent, enabling it to perform the expected function of a sheet of glass, but it's also capable of displaying a range of information and experiences for window shoppers.

The window can display personalized advertising based on a range of data. From viewer demographics to time of day, weather, and even mood, you can have your shop window displaying the most relevant content to the right people at the right time.

For example, your clothing shop could automatically display advertisements for coats and umbrellas when it's cold or raining, and t-shirts and hats when the sun is out. Or, a restaurant could advertise hot chocolate and soup in the winter and ice-cream and soda in the summer.

The possibilities are endless.

"One of the most valuable components of the digital toolkit is targeted advertising," said Outernets. "Outernets brings this to physical spaces with actionable data analytics and ROI. Our system allows you the flexibility of virtual ads in a physical space: with the Outernets platform, serve dynamic ads based on demographic and other relevant information."

The display can be programmed to change content according to a schedule, or automatically based on data and pre-set conditions. Either way, it keeps your window displays fresh and interesting.


The Outernets experience doesn't end there, as customers can also interact with the display.

The platform uses a range of technology, including cameras for facial tracking and gesture recognition, and smartphone integrations for full augmented reality experiences. These technologies can facilitate smart mirror-like activities such as trying on makeup or even playing games.

All these features help keep potential customers looking through your shop window for longer, exposing them to your promotional efforts, and increasing your chances of making a sale. And of course, the device constantly gathers real-time data to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing.

"We convert static walls, glass and displays into interactive, customizable digital experiences," said Outernets. "We integrate physical spaces with online tools, metrics and mobile devices to create unique experiences you can track and measure for efficacy. Using facial tracking, gesture recognition, and mobile integration, our platform enables interactive experiences that drive engagement and activation. Play games. Swap faces. Try on clothes. All standing in front of your display."

Final Thoughts

Interactive displays such as Outernets' smart window technology are changing the way consumers interact with brick and mortar brands. Online shopping isn't going anywhere, so innovations such as these which can offer unique experiences are likely to give physical retail the very best chances of survival and continued success.

Digital displays and augmented reality are set to be hot topics at Future Stores Seattle 2019, being held in June, at The Sheraton, Seattle.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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