This article is part of CMO.com’s March/April series about emerging technology. Click here for more.
From desktops to smartphones, screens of all sizes have been our main window into the digital realm. But as we step into the world of hybrid reality, options for brand interactions are expanding. As modern marketers and experience designers, we have the ability to go beyond the screen to deliver a new breed of integrated, digital experiences, sometimes similar to traditional screen installations, sometimes ambient in presence and ways of interaction.
To take part in this revolution, all consumers need to do is just to show up. To benefit from this revolution, brands need to think beyond the screen, and start considering how their brand space itself can be a stronger brand experience.
Below are several examples of technologies that I find speak to different perspectives of going beyond the screen, accompanied by videos to help you visualize the experiences they offer. Some of these are so new that they have not been applied by brands yet, so here’s your chance to be a first-mover.
1. Multilocation interactive entertainment systems: These systems connect various locations to create entertaining customer experiences. For example, Belgian Alterface Projects, a frontrunner in non-linear, interactive rides, in September debuted a system called Wander, which enables scavenger-hunt-like missions throughout a theme park. The mission changes based on players’ experiences, as well as how many people are in each area. Such a system holds potential for a large retail space and can be used to drive foot traffic.
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2. Real-time translation devices: These wearable devices, such as earbuds, enable you to hear translation in real time. For brands, it will enable them to accommodate and service an increased number of people with various origins and languages, even face-to-face over the counter. One such offering comes from Waverly Labs Pilot, whose solution offers personal, real-time, in-your-ear translation. (It is also a succesful crowdfunding story, with millions of units already preordered.)
3. The Mesmer humanoid: Developed by U.K.-based Engineered, Mesmer is a new, humanoid range of robot models that look more like people than machines. You cannot help but think about their applications. For example, imagine a Mesmer lookalike or original character welcoming you to a store or a mall, or even doing a really good job at providing service and insight.
4. Audience-specific, contextual outdoor displays: You may find it peculiar to see outdoor displays in an article about going beyond the screen, However, outdoor displays and billboards have become so much more than the static imagery fencing in squares and streets. New and future displays will show dynamically tailored, relevant content to the audiences who pass by. This means outdoor media planning is headed for real time, with billboards becoming a part of their environments in a multitude of ways.
5. Visitor-tracking technologies: These track and provide statistics of the movement of individual people and groups through a defined space, such as a mall, with the intent of understanding the paths they take. Just imagine what that could mean in terms of defining value for certain shopping areas in a mall or benchmarking traffic-driving initiatives.