Motion tracking is allowing brands more opportunities to connect with their audiences. Say you’re walking down a busy street ringed with retail shops. Your peripherals easily track unexpected movement on the store window as you walk by, and to your surprise, the digital content moves along with you. You look on in amazement as you realize that it’s following your movement. “Whoa!” It’s an incredible moment when the audience realizes that they are in control of the content. You’re going to remember that experience and more importantly, you are going to remember the marketing message. This technology will help retailers take into account new ways people shop, differentiate their stores from the competition and meet increasing demands for an interactive, multimedia experience. Interactive kiosks and digital sign applications will make it easy for shoppers to engage with variations of products, try them on, purchase and seamlessly use social media for additional marketing reach.
“Technologies like Kinect help retailers engage customers with interactive shopping experiences that are not only fun, but also increase important bottom-line business results – increasing engagement, awareness and brand value while making it easier to select the best products for them. – Michael Fry, Microsoft’s Senior Channel Development Manager
There are many types of motion tracking and gesture recognition technology but the most widely accepted is the Kinect. The new Kinect 2.0 is Microsoft’s motion-sensing input device for the new Xbox One video game console, which was released in November, 2013. It is much more advanced but the software development kit has not been released yet. Its HD video capabilities are a major upgrade and the wider field of view enables a much larger interactive space. Kinect 2.0 now has the ability to work in almost any lighting, even daylight, which gives a designer more conceptual range. From interactive retail installations to creative implementations of video game hardware, we are seeing endless possibilities with motion tracking technology.
One of the best documented uses of motion tracking technology is the Audi City London virtual store. Audi created a virtual shopping experience that allows the brand to test new markets in areas that previously would not support a full-size brick and mortar dealership. Floor-to-ceiling rear projected screens, showcasing life-sized cars, are coupled with Kinect’s to create the ultimate immersive and interactive digital showroom.
Nike created an ultra-interactive 30′ x 30′ digital installation to promote their new HyperVenom soccer shoes. The “goal” was to mimic gameplay and blur the lines between the interactive space and the physical space. Players were challenged to hit moving targets and dodge virtual defenders in the forms of light beams. Infrared motion-sensing cameras were used in the software development of the tracking system. Nike promoted a buzz-worthy event around the installation, bringing in top soccer players from FC Barcelona. 400 people played the game in 3 days and many memorable, high-quality impressions were made.
Experiential design firms like 900lbs of Creative have been developing new ways for this technology to be incorporated into interactive marketing initiatives. Our latest motion tracking installation will be displayed on the large store-front window of the University of Oklahoma’s campus IT store, One U. We are creating a fun interactive trivia game that entertains and educates students walking down the hall, outside of the store. The trivia game is based on the history of OU and the default screen will portray moving ads for merchandise in the store. David Goodspeed, University of Oklahoma’s Campus Stores Engagement Manager says, “at the University of Oklahoma we are transforming higher education and creating ways to help students in lowering the overall costs of higher education. We’ve brought in emerging technology and created a “digital playground” for students, faculty, staff, perspective students as well as K-12. Liquid Galaxy, 3D printing and Oculus Rift is only the start as we enable our community to dream it, design it and create it! We enjoy collaborating with 900lbs of Creative because they help bring these dreams to reality!”