10, July 2014

Touchscreen technology is helping customers at a British optician reach beyond the store and seek friends’ advice on new frames.

For the optician Kite GB, Zytronic has added a 42-inch touch surface to mirror-finished toughened glass, which can recognise up to 40 simultaneous touches at different points.

Along with an attached Logitech Webcam and digital signage monitor from Display Technology, the touch screen allows consumers to take photos of themselves wearing prospective new frames, then instantly share them on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Said Kite GB’s CEO Asad Hamir: “The vast majority of dispensing opticians haven’t considered how technology can help them engage with their customers. We really wanted to enhance the user experience and provide an environment that is conducive to social sharing.

“The unit is already proving very popular and is a great differentiator for Kite. It allows customers to get advice on the products they are thinking about purchasing from the people that matter most to them, not just the store staff.”

Added Ian Crosby, sales and marketing director at Zytronic: “The two-phase mirror function is extremely advantageous for the Kite unit. It gives it the appearance of an elegant silver mirror when the monitor is not lit, consistent with the stylish decor of the store. It then becomes instantly transparent when the monitor is activated, so that an intuitive touch screen interface materialises.”

The application of the projective capacitive touch technology to a mirror is also a sign of growing interest in touch-enabling reflective surfaces, Zytronic said.

Separately and at the other end of the digital out-of-home scale, another British optician used JCDecaux’s giant Transvision screens in UK railway stations for a tactical campaign prompted by the World Cup.

After footballer Luis Suarez seemed to bite his Italian counterpart Giorgio Chiellini, the ad showed a picture of Chiellini along with another image of the pasta dish cannelloni, topped with the optician’s slogan “should have gone to Specsavers”.

Consumers will have recognised it as belonging to a series of advertising executions for Specsavers which depict comical results of poor sight under the same line, but before digital billboards became commonplace, it would have been impossible to deploy so quickly.

Manning Gottlieb OMD and Talon planned and booked the ad.