It’s not surprising that New York City retail stores’ technology is as high-end as the clothing they’re selling. Well-known stores populating Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, for example, decorate their retail shops with high-tech audio visual technology to advertise anything from shoes to handbags, and even sporting attire.
In October 2015, Tory Burch Sports’ Flagship Shop, located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, reached out to VideoSonic to install large video screens in the storefront, as well as an interactive table that would display the brand’s new clothing line in a unique and engaging manner.
Before any designing or installing took place, executive management of the store and VideoSonic met to discuss the technology goals management had in mind for the flagship location.
The end user aimed to provide an experience to customers that would engage them and generate excitement about the new Tory Burch Sports brand in a manner that was both entertaining and educational, and leave a memorable impression.
VideoSonic worked closely with Tory Burch execs to design an interactive table with a projection surface of 60 x 60 square inches as the store’s “cornerstone” technology element. Instead of being touch-capacitive, hand gestures would drive the content on the interactive table. This feature would allow customers to flip pages in the store’s “look book” without even touching the table’s surface.
Requirements for the interactive table included transparent equipment, installed with nothing visible below ceiling. VideoSonic fabricated a custom-housing for the vision engine components installed above the ceiling. Once the space was dust free, a projector, tacking camera and IR illuminators were installed in the enclosure; trim panel hides all components from view.
Tory Burch planned to launch the table with a couple of activities, with a creative department employed to continue to develop new content over time. VideoSonic installed a mock-up table in shop for the brand’s creative department to help with creating new content.
One activity that was developed involved the table reading an item’s RFID tag, displaying the item digitally on the table, and allowing customers to see what colors the item is available in, sizes the store had in stock, and what other accessories and garments the item could be paired with.
In addition to installing the interactive table, Tory Burch looked to replace its storefront LCD screens with more high-tech, engaging displays. VideoSonic and Tory Burch execs traveled to LED-Lab, ICT’s New York City showroom where various dot pitch sizes of direct-view LED could be compared.
Cost and schedule drove the end-user’s final decision, and visiting the LED-Lab enabled them to see how tighter dot pitch affects the cost of the panels, and opened up a discussion regarding the long lead-time typical for LED products before they can ship.
1. Work closely with the en user, especially when there is short timeline to complete the project
2. When installing display technology, take into account the time it will take to clean up the project area before installing the displays.
3. Understand end user’s budget and what technology can be incorporated into an installation to serve the end user’s needs without exceeding their spend.
End User Takeaways:
1. Consult with the integrator regarding what technology will fit within your project’s timeline and budget.
2. Clearly communicate your goals so the proper technology can be purchased and installed.
3. Understand that a completed project may not have the exact technology and look as the original design, as many factors such as time and cost can lead to changes.
Crestron Touch Screen, ICT LED array displays, Draper, VideoSonic, Sony projectors, SolidDrive glass transducer speaker with audio amplifier, Kramer matrix switcher
VideoSonic and Tory Burch ended up choosing a 2.6mm demo system that provides a higher resolution screen than the store’s previous LCD screens, and would also ship within the project timeline of just five months.
The storefront’s new LED screens were installed in the windows of the store and measure 10 tall x 7 feet wide. The screens are driven by a single Spinetix HMP200 Media Player. This media player allows multiple windows to be mapped to coordinates on a screen, saving the end-user money by allowing content to be published to a single media player.
Furthermore, any standard 1080 x 1920 content can be displayed without having to reformat to fit the content.
The content is formatted to a pixel-map allowing two individual portrait images 1080 x 960 pixels wide, or a single 1080 x 1920 landscape image with the left and right halves in perfect synchronization 24/7.
The biggest challenge VideoSonic faced during the installation was the delivery of the custom enclosures for the LED screens. In order to begin the screen installation, the store needed to be dust-free.
With various contractors working with marble slabs and glazed plaster wall finish, VideoSonic had minimal time to clean up and get the enclosures in place and the LED panels loaded and wired. The screens were brought online with only minutes to spare.
The project also involved installing a projector that could be retracted when not in use, with a Blu-ray player and a second Media Player serving the content during events and parties during Fashion Week.
VideoSonic was able to distribute program audio throughout the space over the same audio system used for background music, reducing costs and saving time.
The project also entailed a control system that would be operated by an iPad to switch the system to “Event Mode” when needed and manually operate the system outside of default settings. A BYOD Crestron Air Media device was provided, enabling the space to be used for training and other presentations.
With the installation complete, Tory Burch Sports’ flagship shop’s LED displays are bright and easily seen in even the most ambient lighting conditions. With the Spinetix HMP200, the end user is able to monitor in real-time the content that is playing on the LED screens.
Perhaps the biggest hit was the interactive table, boasting impressive sound and drawing the attention of customers immediately.