Final Prototype Video

Ventana is designed to allow the presentation of any kind of information. It could be used to present fashion, jewelery or even a restaurants menu. Ventana can be installed in any shop window.

For our purposes Ventana is showing two products thematizing the US city New York. By the mere presence in front of the window a user can navigate and interactively experience the digital space.

Through the use of inexpensive technology it is affordable for a wide varaity of shops. It can be used for very small interaction with the shop windows content up to very complex games and e-commerce solutions.

Thesis

Download the bachelor thesis here

thesis (PDF)

Abstract

Today, retail stores are finding themselves in a fierce competition with e-commerce stores. By bringing the latest technologies to these physical locations, Ventana is trying to provide a solution to this problem. Installed in the shop‘s window, Ventana enables passing potential customers to interact with a digital representation of the store‘s inventory. Now, well informed, the customer is more likely to enter the shop.

Ventana is designed to allow the presentation of any kind of information. It could be used to present fashion, jewelery or a restaurants menu. For our purposes Ventana is showing two products thematizing the US city New York. By the mere presence in front of the window a user can navigate and interactively experience the digital space.

The non-stop availability of the stores inventory breaks the boundaries between the digital and the real world and has the potential to attract many more customers. And as touch-less sensors become more affordable we will see many more applications of this kind, which will open up a range of completely new possibilities. Kinect, for example, would allow us to determine a customers body size and use it as a filter on the inventory and thus tailoring the information to the users needs.

Added Value / Future

The non-stop availability of the stores inventory breaks the boundaries between the digital and the real world and has the potential of attracting many more customers.

While traditional shop windows only had the change to display one theme and a few products we can use in interactive shop windows a huge inventory and amount of information in a small area. With touch-less sensors becoming much more affordable and therefore an extended reach we now have completely new possibilities.

In the future we will see systems which will determine a customers body size and use it as a filter on the inventory and tailor the information to the users needs. That could mean that kids get children related content and their parents more adult related information.

The system will know if a user is far a way or close to the shop window and therefor display different content.

In the future shop windows will determine if only one person is in front of the shop window or if there are many people passing by.

Combining digital media with a real live store will allow store users to extend their inventory tremendously and break through the physical locations limitations. When shops start to activate new shopping channels for example sales through the shop window when the shop hours are closed a new point of sale can be established.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to

  • my Mentor Max Rheiner for his ideas and technical support
  • my Mentor Karmen Franinovic for her inputs and ideas
  • my girlfriend Daniela Spühler for her patience and support
  • Dominik Brumm from Cubera Solutions GmbH for his coding support
  • Matt Inauen from yatah for his ideas and language skills
  • Raphael Perret for his support on how to construct the shop window
  • Jürg Abegg and his team for building the frame for the shop window prototype
  • Sascha Wohlgemuth from Jelmoli for his inputs on the content of the shop window
  • Jörg Bruppacher for providing many photos
  • Florian Wille for his input and the 3D renderings
  • the 2nd and 4th semester from the interaction design programm for the painting
  • my family for believing in me and supporting me all the time

And all others for their input and user tests during this project.

Reducing the Gesture Set for Ventana

Ventana was designed to be used without any learning time. Therefore I had to use a gesture set which had to be reduced to only a few possibles. It should be easy for nearly everybody to use.

Currently there are two possible ways to control the application.One is the bare presence and one is hand pointing gesture. It was an important aspect for me to make sure that the users do not feel silly when using the shop window in public space. Having a reduced gesture set makes it easy for people to learn how to control the system.

Conclusion Technical Solution

The setup I choose to build the technical prototype helped me to develop quickly a running prototype and test the different functions. Having a technology like Adobe Flash for the visual and audio part made it easy to design and develop the prototype at the same time. Using processing together with the SimpleOpenNI wrapper made reading the values from Microsoft Kinect a very easy solutions. Using the micro-controller Arduino to control the light is an easy way to bring digital content in a connection with a physical attractor.

Flow Chart

Interactive Shop Windows vs. Traditional Shop Windows

In a direct comparison between traditional shop windows and interactive shop windows we can find for both possibilities interesting parts. Through the use of an interactive shop window we can add a new target group. On the other hand we also loose the more traditional oriented customer.

Having an interactive shop window in place we are more likely to get the customers attraction. We have the possibility to add additional information in a small area. Wile having a limitation on space in a traditional shop window we can use digital content without limitation and therefore display much more information or products than with a traditional shop window. New shopping channels can be activated too. For example sale through the shop window when the shop hours are closed.

On the down side we have more external influence for example sunlight which disturbs the screen projection or camera tracking. Some people might get easy overcharged with new systems and we do not have a common gesture set and usability standard which would help them.

BA Poster

Download PDF (5.2MB)

Older Posts »