Posts tagged ‘vertisi’

Using kiosks in your marketing mix – and a Vertisi response

Just a quick update on my opinion on Vertisi and its potential (regarding this post here where I described Rick Schwartz introducing the new product at TRAFFIC). My intent was not to doubt the utility of the product, it was just to call attention to the fact that the technology has been there for a few years.

Owen Frager tracked back to my original post in his column today entitled “Rick Schwartz’s Vertisi- Not As Dumb As You Think“.  With regards to the product’s usefulness, I do believe it is right up there with advances in retail or point-of-presence businesses like the now pervasive gift card [there is a reason that nearly every supermarket now has a rotating display cross-promoting gift cards for other companies right at the point of sale].

I believe that kiosks–or in the case of Vertisi, the “kiosk-less kiosk”–provide a natural integration between the online and offline. In fact, I had visions of an integrated network of kiosks when I founded a “universal gift registry concept for online and offline merchants” circa 2000 [no longer operational]. Also, you only have to look back at the writing that Chris Anderson did on his research into The Long Tail to see how it would benefit someone like HMV or Barnes & Noble to expand their physical inventory by dedicating a percentage of their physical store space to a kiosk promoting additional inventory.

I also think that Vertisi as a design concept is very sound (why invest in a whole Kiosk, when you can turn your display case itself into a kiosk with a strategically positioned projector). I’ve had some conversations with Vancouver-based ePortSystems and while their kiosk is very striking, takes up little footprint, and provides a value-add for any partner who uses it in their facility–it obviously makes sense that if you can provide the same functionality without having the kiosk at all (and probably be more cost effective in the long-run as well). Though, with something like the unite promoted by ePortSystems, a Castello Brothers Kiosk (or a kiosk promoting Kevin Ham’s in my own backyard) strategically positioned in a local hotel or tourist makes a lot of sense. Imagine a kiosk in a Palm Springs hotel with a big graphic front and center, allowing all those who use the kiosk to browse restaurants nearby and book their reservation for dinner (using an affiliate relationship with OpenTable). Such a presence can not only generte revenue for the location, for the kiosk owner, and the services being promoted, but the value of branding for the person that wraps the kiosk itself cannot be ignored [though it is harder to measure].

In any case, do I think that Vertisi is a revolutionary product? Not in the sense that it is not the first, but could it be the start of a revolution for retail as more and more wake up to the fact that they have an easy opportunity to integrate their online and offline marketing channels (and grow their revenues in the process)? Absolutely.

June 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Rick Shwartz’ “Vertisi” Interactive Display Advertising

Down in Orlando this week is the Targeted Traffic Show, put on by the Domain King himself, Rick Schwartz. Prior to the conference, Rick promised attendees a revolutionary new product that he expects to be the “next big thing”.

Ron Jackson in his Daily Lowdown of the TRAFFIC conference reported,

“[It] was unveiled right after lunch and the product – dubbed Vertisi – did indeed appear to be a show stopper. Vertisi allows you to lay a piece of film over any piece of glass and that layer of film becomes an interactive touch sensitive display that can be used for anything from store displays to public Internet access available from any surface the film is applied to. A projection unit casts the interactive image on the film. Schwartz has bought 10% of the company and has an option on another 13%. The live demo of Vertisi pulled a shoulder to shoulder capacity crowd into the conference room where it was unveiled.”

Now I am not sure why it was a show stopper, nor do I understand why Owen Frager, someone whom I respect a great deal and is someone who truly “gets it”, would paraphrase Jackson on his blog with the sensational headline of “Schwartz Launches Next Revolution at Traffic“.

From what I understand, this technology has been around for a couple of years now. It looks like Vertisi signed a deal with Portuguese-based Displax back in 2006 according to archived pages on the Vertisi website.

Displax was featured in the 2006 Best Business Ideas by with the following description:

Displax® projects itself in a transparent, holographic display, with high definition, visible at daylight, captures the customers attention, bonds with the reality of the business of any kind of organization and has customized sizes, witch allows its placement in window stores of banks or telecommunications store, with the certainty that, whoever passes by, will not be indifferent to it. It has a great impact! Displax® – Interactive window will be released in three versions. Displax® Interactive is the solution that allows people to interact with a projected multimedia application, just pressing the display with a finger. Displax® – Network allows managing displays placed in any location of the world, in a remote and central way. Displax® – Show allows you to present, in an innovative way, the products in a display, set in a window-store or inside the shop.

But perhaps this is just another example that those of us who are fully immersed in the next, “new, new thing” always think that everyone is already where we are. Case in point, I was having a conversation about domain names in a general networking session the other day and someone asked me “what a domain was?” [Honest!]. When I got over my shock, showed him the “.com” on my business card, I realized that there is an entire market of laggards and late majority technology adopters that are not where we are yet.

And perhaps it will be the endorsement of someone like Rick that is going to propel this technology forward. After all, the first domain names registered were in 1985-86 and it wasn’t until Rick (and a few others) spearheaded a marketing Eureka! that many still have not heard of.

May 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm 4 comments