The Latest In RFID And Digital Signage: The Smell Sell

Written by Evan Schuman
September 24th, 2006

A New Zealand company is pushing a digital signage/RFID system that fills an aisle with smells to reinforce marketing messages. In the Regency duty free shop at Auckland International Airport, for example, digital images of vodka company Absolut’s raspberry vodka were reinforced by—yep—a strong raspberry smell. The system isolates the smells for specific customers and can spray as many as 2,000 different fragrances into different parts of the store at different times, according to a report in the Sunday Star-Times in New Zealand.

“What we’re getting into now is really something more than digital signage,” said OpenEye chief executive Gareth Croy. “It’s more the digital experience” with one-on-one electronic messaging. “You pick up a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green Label and put in your shopping basket. Suddenly, the digital sign near you tells you you can buy two bottles of Johnnie Walker on special for $100. Visual images then reinforce the message.” If a customer uses an infant-carrying pram, OpenEye has the security camera track the customer’s movements and co-ordinates digital signs and audible messages pushing the hottest items for babies. As for smells, options include vanilla for women, leather for men, chocolate for all and cut grass for gardening issues.


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