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Ocean Outdoor introduces touchless advertising screens

By Rajiv Raghunath - May 18, 2020

Ocean will be deploying mid-air haptics technology to DOOH, replacing touchscreen activity with displays and interfaces which are triggered by natural hand interactions

DOOH media owner Ocean Outdoor has announced plans to introduce touchless advertising screens which will transform audience and brand experiences post Covid-19.

Ocean will be deploying mid-air haptics technology to DOOH, replacing touchscreen activity with displays and interfaces which are triggered by natural hand interactions.

The virtual technology, which doesn’t require any wearables, will be integrated into Ocean screens in key experiential spaces and deployed on a campaign by campaign basis, allowing audiences to trigger or control screen content using hand gestures instead of touch surfaces.

Ocean is the first preferred DOOH media owner in the UK to work with technology company Ultraleap to facilitate of the roll out of touchless campaigns across its premium retail and city centre portfolio.

Concept: customers are invited to pick ingredients for custom burgers via Ocean’s screens using mid-air haptics tech.  Once they have finished creating their burger, the retailer displays a QR code on the screen unique to that burger which customers can redeem in the relevant nearby outlet.Director of Ocean Labs Catherine Morgan said: “The introduction of touchless screen technology across our portfolio is timely.  People are understandably cautious about using any kind of touchscreen technology in public places. Haptics is an ideal solution. It is hygienic, safe and will add a whole new dimension to Ocean’s experiential offer and immersive brand experiences.

“Post the coronavirus lockdown, consumers will be craving positive connections, so brands who create the all-important wow factor will get greater cut through to emotionally resonate with audiences during this highly charged time, providing the potential to exponentially grow market share.”

Ultraleap’s virtual touch technology uses hand tracking and ultrasound to create sensations on a user’s hand to simulate the sense of touch. Ultraleap sensors allow the sensation to react to movement in real time.

As well as controlling content via hand gestures, the haptics provide immersive sensations on a participant’s palm, which are customised and synced to the interactive on-screen experience. These can be anything from electric forcefields, fizzy bubbles or even a virtual button that you can feel on your palm.

Steve Cliffe, CEO of Ultraleap, said: “We’re proud to power immersive, engaging and safe brand experiences with Ocean Outdoor and their clients. As we all navigate the post COVID-19 world, Ocean is prepared and ready to combine our technology and great brand content to give consumers that spark of joy, as well as reassurance.”

Catherine Morgan will be hosting a webinar on how great creative overlaid with interactive technology like vehicle detection, mid-air haptics and LookOut captures consumer attention and drives memory encoding which will be essential in the post Covid-19 world. The webinar is on May 19 starting at 11am BST. Sign up here:


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