Interactive window responds to shoppers' commands

Posted by Kate Taylor

A new interactive store window display allows window-shoppers to see merchandise from any angle, read more information and even buy, simply by pointing.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications system allows a customer to point to a particular outfit, for example, to see it appear on an interactive display, zoom in and view it from different angles and read sizing, pricing and laundry details.

"Interactive shopping has been standard operating procedure in the web for a long time," says researcher Paul Chojecki. "Now, we're putting this technology into pedestrian passageways and shopping centers with the entire unit behind the window."

Four small cameras continually record the 3-D positions of the hands, faces and eyes of persons passing by. Then image-processing software regognizes gestures such as pointing or rotating the hand, allowing goods to be viewed in detail and immediately purchased.

Customers can view product information such as color, material, price, availability and information on the manufacturer.

The interactive shop window is compatible with all displays, says Chojecki, and the store owner can select any monitor size or type of monitor, including plasma, LED, LCD, projection or reprojection screens.

The system can be linked to any existing software, such as content management or merchandise information systems. It also stores data - though not personal data, Chojecki says - identifying how many people are in front of the shop window and what they're most interested in.