Ray-Ban has showed off an RFID-enabled smart eyewear table that allows a consumer to place a pair of Ray-Ban glasses on the surface and see product information for that item on a touch screen, according to a Retail Info Systems report.
The Ray-Ban Smart Table, which the brand developed with Float Hybrid, works with glasses that are equipped with an RFID chip that triggers personalized content when brought to the table. The Smart Table was showcased at the recent Vision Expo East trade show in New York City, where event visitors also could use touch screen displays on the Smart Table to learn more about the different Ray-Ban campaigns and new product launches.
The Smart Table also supports a feature that helps retailers choose the most optimal shelf assortment for product displays, enabling them to view recommended planograms based on attributes like door size and eye-wear type.
Retailers increasingly are deploying RFID technology in their store environments, although it is most often associated with RFID tags on products that allow for more accurate inventory tracking and management, and streamlined fulfillment processes. Such is the case with deployments like the massive project Target has undertaken to get RFID into 1,600 stores.
When RFID is used in a customer-facing context, it might enable in-store beacons to communicate market and promotion information to connected displays, or directly to the mobile smartphones of customers.
This is a different kind of deployment, making RFID an important ingredient in creating a state-of-the-art, eye-catching (no pun intended) and data-rich marketing effort for Ray-Ban.
Still, it has yet to be used inside a store environment and Ray-Ban apparently has not announced plans yet to use it more broadly. But it's practically begging to be put to work in a store, where it could provide the kind of interactive and highly informational experience that consumers are used to getting online.
Sunglasses are an example of an item that draws people into stores because the experience of holding it, wearing it and seeing how you look in it — and it can be difficult to replicate online although Ray-Ban has been trying through a new virtual try-on feature on the website. Getting Smart Tables into Ray-Ban displays — and these could be implemented at sunglass specialists and department stores — would make the brand a leader among its peers.