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The Smart Table is Here: What Does it Mean for Retail?

Float Hybrid and Ray-Ban unveil interactive eyewear experience at Vision Expo East.

At this year’s Vision Expo East in New York City, Ray-Ban and Float Hybrid unveiled the Ray-Ban Smart Table. Equipped with RFID technology and touch screen displays, the smart table allowed visitors to place any of Ray-Ban’s stunning new glasses onto the table, and see product information for that pair of glasses magically appear on screen.

Each pair of glasses was equipped with an RFID chip that triggered personalized content when brought in range of the table. This allowed visitors to quickly learn more about the glasses that were most relevant to them.

“RFID is a technology that has the power to create highly immersive experiences that tell a personalized story tailored to the individual product,” says Keith Bendes, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnership at Float Hybrid. “When used correctly, the technology can be a powerful and cost efficient tool for brands to effectively communicate their messaging at the point of purchase.”

Gone are the days of RFID technology being used solely as a tool for back of house retail tracking. The technology has emerged in creating engaging user experiences from smart mirrors to digital changing rooms, and now interactive eyewear tables.

The RFID tables featured at the Vision Expo Show were also equipped with touch screen displays so that visitors could learn more about the different Ray-Ban campaigns and new product launches. An ideal assortment feature allowed retailers to view their recommended Ray-Ban products and Planograms based on attributes like door size and eyewear type.

The experience allowed visitors to explore three different paths:

1. 2017 Campaigns: Visitors could view the upcoming 2017 Ray-Ban campaigns. Campaign information including videos and hero images were all on display.

Float Ray-Ban Interactive table

2. New Collections: Ray-Ban’s new 2017 releases were featured at the show and attendees could browse the various products, or place glasses on the table to learn more.

Float Ray Ban RFID Table

3. Ideal Assortment: Retailers could select their door size and type and the display would automatically communicate the recommended Ray-Ban products and optimal on shelf assortment.

Float Ray Ban Interactive Table

The experience was tailored to a trade show environment and conference attendees, but it begs the question of when this technology will be introduced in retail stores. By combining touch screen displays with RFID technology, brands can empower consumers to learn more about the products that are in store, while also having access to the endless aisle.

Understanding that consumers are increasingly purchasing online after going to stores to touch, see and try on products in person, retailers will need to leverage in-store technology to keep consumers throughout the full path to purchase. This means that retailers must focus on two simultaneous challenges, creating the optimal showroom experience in store, and optimizing the online ordering process for their consumers. Combining RFID technology with touch screen displays has the potential to solve both challenges with one comprehensive solution.

The Ray-Bay smart tables effectively communicating Ray-Ban’s new campaigns and product releases to their retail partners at Vision Expo East. By combining the physical and digital elements to create a unified experience, the smart tables drew large crowds to the Ray-Ban booth, with thousands of targeted conference attendees stopping by to interact. The event was a huge success, and the brand already has plans to bring back the smart tables for Vision Expo West in Las Vegas in September.

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