Perch is a New York based company focusing on creating a point of product display solution. While this is nothing new in general, Perch uses a combination of technologies to provide a unique experience. The system uses a projector in combination with a Kinect camera to transform every flat surface into a product showcase.
This showcase not only highlights the product by putting images and video around the product, but also senses when the product is removed from the surface. In the example shown, picking up one of the shoes leads to new content being shown in the product space. In addition, the image area contains options for input, which allows the consumer to change the content as required.
While seeing a projector in a retail application is more of the exception than the rule, the Casio laser/phosphor based projector used provides a good amount of light. The Kinect camera provides the input option, not only in 2D but also in the third dimension. This enables the system to identify gestures in the space above the product display. The system’s reaction is not limited to display functions but gestures can also trigger audio.
The company is also working on a second model that uses a flat panel display in a vertical mount with products placed on shelves directly in front of the display panel. The Kinect camera is also placed above the shelf and identifies what product is being picked up. This is the same functionality as described above but is based on a flat panel display.
The digital display solution is somewhat unique in its combination of display technology with sensor technology. It creates a rudimentary artificial intelligence system that responds to consumer interest with predefined responses and more detailed information. Since the response includes video and images, the reaction may be, in some sense, better than the verbal response of a sales associate. – Norbert Hildebrand