The Mandalorian and You: Video Walls

Image for post
Image for post
The year was 2007 and we needed to make video calling over cellular come to life at retail.

Let’s talk about The Mandalorian. The hit show, now in its second season, has been doing groundbreaking work with video walls, using real-time rendering to replace green screens with stunningly realistic virtual sets that surround the actors.

Animation supervisor Hal Hickel said the experience of being in front of those video walls is unforgettable: “It’s incredibly impressive when you first walk out there, because it completely surrounds your peripheral vision, and you really quickly forget that you’re indoors and you’re not out on some planet’s surface.”

That technology is here, it’s affordable — and it can transform the retail experience for your shoppers.

At the Industrious, we recently designed something for cruise ships that uses video wall technology in a similar way to make guests’ retail shopping experience as exciting as their time on the rest of the cruise — if not more so.

We created a brand pavilion, a modular space with a video wall that allows retailers to stage something unique and compelling — think of a Harley Davidson virtual ride where you sit on an actual bike that moves in response to the landscape you see on the screen as wind blows through your hair. Shoppers could book that experience, enjoy it — and if they choose, a Harley could be waiting for them to ride home when they disembark. And even if they don’t make a purchase, the brand will have collected invaluable data for future sales opportunities.

What’s more, the next morning while guests are off on a port excursion, a quick switch of merchandise and physical trimmings, and now the Harley Davidson ride is a Hello Kitty experience for the kids. If you’ve designed the area to be immersive and flexible enough, software alone can make a lot of the changes, and you don’t have to rebuild anything.

We’ve been exploring the same brand pavilion idea with electronics and consumer goods retailers in the U.S., helping them provide a modular platform that lets the brands they work with use their co-op dollars to delight shoppers with compelling and exciting experiences. Those experiences make the retail store much more than a shop — it becomes a destination where customers can have unique and thrilling experiences with a variety of different brands.

This is the kind of thing I’ve been doing since my time at Cingular Wireless. Long before FaceTime or even iPhones existed, we introduced a product called Video Share. To help customers understand what Video Share was, we created a video of a dad, traveling on business, using his Samsung BlackJack to attend his daughter’s birthday party. And so, before we even had digital signage in the stores, we were installing screens just to show that video of a dad missing his daughter’s birthday party (and how Cingular solved the problem.)

Now we’re talking about using video walls to ride a Harley with wind in your hair.

Somewhere between the Cingular screen, the Harley video wall and the Mandalorian virtual set lies a compelling solution for any retailer that’s looking for exciting ways to delight their customers with an experience that brings shoppers into their stores and deepens their relationship with their brand.

Digital technology can create those experiences in ways your shoppers have never even imagined. The technology already exists, it’s affordable, and it’s very quick to deploy.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly here with any questions or thoughts, or click here to download our white paper on responding to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Written by

A geek with a retail operations and customer experience background

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store